Chris Rock Might Host The Oscars — But When Was The Last Time A Female Hosted The Show?
It’s nearing that special time of year, folks: Oscar season. This means that there is just as much talk about who will win the coveted Academy Awards this year as there is about who will host the Oscars. And, word on the street is that Chris Rock may be next up for the job: Variety is reporting that Chris Rock is in talks to host the Oscars in early 2016. However, as thrilled as I am that the Academy might be considering a person of color, I can’t help but wonder: What about the ladies? When was the last time a woman hosted the event? Or, more importantly, when was the last time a woman hosted it alone?
(Update: Chris Rock tweeted a seeming confirmation on Wednesday, showing a picture of himself holding an Oscar along with the caption, "Look who's back. #Oscars." This was retweeted by the official Oscars Twitter as well.)
Let’s take a little walk through Hollywood history, shall we? If you look through the past hosts of the Academy Awards, an obvious trend that starts to emerge: There are years where there is only one host, and there are years where there are more than one host. During the years where there was only one host, they were all men — that is, until Whoopi Goldberg in 1994.
That means that for 66 years, if there was a sole host of the show, it was a man.
Now, there were a few years in Oscars history where women hosted the show — but she was always accompanied by a man. (For instance, Agnes Moorehead hosted in 1948 with Dick Powell, and Thelma Ritter hosted in 1955 with Bob Hope.)
Now, once Goldberg broke the trend in 1994, she repeated her solo hosting in 1996, 1999, and 2002. Ellen DeGeneres joined the in later too, shaking things up as the sole host in 2007 and 2014 — but that’s it. Goldberg and DeGeneres are the only women in the history of the Academy Awards to have hosted the award show by themselves.
Since then there have been other female hosts, like Anne Hathaway in 2011, but even she was accompanied by a male, James Franco.
Considering The number of people of color who have hosted the Oscars is even more depressing than the number of women who have gone it alone on that stage, so I’m relieved the Academy is at least considering Rock. But, every time there is talk of a man hosting the show on his own, I can’t help but have my feminist feathers ruffled, because the hard and fast numbers are pretty depressing: Six out of the past 88 Academy Award shows have been hosted by a woman on her own. That’s 6.81 percent, and it needs to change.
So can we, like, start a petition to get a woman back on that stage by herself, or something?