The last forty-eight hours have been tumultuous ones for this year’s Academy Awards telecast. First, the show’s producer Brett Ratner was unceremoniously asked to step down from his position after the world realized that he was a creep. Then his host, Eddie Murphy, soon followed, wishing the new producer and new host the best of luck. Fans all over the web were in an agitated state, debating who should take their places, with a large contingent actively campaigning for a very Muppet Oscars. The Academy seems to be in a bit of a panic though, because less than a day later they’ve already locked their choices down, and the replacements they found can most accurately be described as safe.
First, it was announced that Brian Grazer would be the new producer. After this, speculation began to run rampant that Billy Crystal would be the most logical and easy choice for Grazer to plug in as host, seeing as he’s done the job so many times and has a seemingly endless enthusiasm for the gig. Sure enough, earlier today Crystal took to his @BillyCrystal Twitter account and made the following announcement, “Am doing the Oscars so the young woman in the pharmacy will stop asking my name when I pick up my prescriptions. Looking forward to the show.” Since then, the Academy’s official account has retweeted Crystal’s claims, making things pretty official.
I think the joke is going to be on Crystal on this one, though. While there is going to be a loyal army of traditionalists very happy with this choice, young people aren’t watching the Oscars anymore, so I don’t know how much luck he’s going to have improving his stature over at the pharmacy. Many people were hoping that The Academy would use this small personnel hiccup as an excuse to do something radical and different, seeing as the yearly broadcast has taken on a rough reputation as being stuffy, boring, and formulaic.
While people who always watch the Oscars will tune in as always and have no problems watching Crystal do his thing, I’d say that the Academy can kiss any hopes of drawing in a new generation of viewers goodbye.