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Seth MacFarlane Won’t Replace Kevin Hart as Oscars Host, but He Was Asked Back After 2013 Controversy

As for whether or not he would return to host in 2019, the "Family Guy" creator said there is no upside to doing it.

Seth MacFarlane attends the Fox Networks Group 2018 programming presentation after party at Wollman Rink in Central Park, in New York2018 Fox Networks Group Upfront, New York, USA - 14 May 2018

Seth MacFarlane

Evan Agostini/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Seth MacFarlane will not be replacing Kevin Hart as Oscars host in 2019, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t contemplated a return trip to the Oscars stage in the past. The “Family Guy” creator hosted the 85th Academy Awards in 2013 and courted controversy during his monologue by singing a song called “We Saw Your Boobs,” which celebrated actresses who had disrobed in movies. MacFarlane’s song earned criticism from the likes of Jamie Lee Curtis, Jane Fonda, Geena Davis, and more, but the backlash wasn’t enough to scare the Academy from asking him to return the following year.

“I got asked back the year after I hosted,” MacFarlane recently confirmed on “WTF With Marc Maron.” “I guess because the numbers went up. I was making [“A Million Days to Die in the West”] in Santa Fe, I was so wrapped up in that that there was no way I’d finish this and stay alive if I tried to do the Oscars as well. Part of me wanted to say yes, but I realized the only reason I’d be saying yes is to kind of show up the detractors. That’s not a good enough reason to put in that kind of work.”

MacFarlane said he “loved having done it” and called the Oscars hosting gig a great platform for visibility in the industry. When asked whether or not he would like to return to the Oscars stage, he answered, “Maybe? I don’t know what the upside of doing it is at this point in time.” One thing MacFarlane knows for sure: He definitely won’t be hosting this year and hasn’t been contacted to replace Kevin Hart.

“It’s hard to know how I would approach it If I was to host it again,” MacFarlane said. “There’s no upside. It’s a high profile thing. All eyes are on it. It’s an easy thing to shit on. It’s so easy to shit on the Oscars because you don’t have to read the news, you don’t have to know history, you don’t have to do any work. You just have to sit down, watch, and tweet. That’s all you gotta do. You see a lot more outrage about the Oscars than harmful legislation.”

As for his notorious “We Are Your Boobs” opening number, MacFarlane admitted the song was not always his first choice and came about as a response to the overall industry climate surrounding his announcement as Oscars host.

“I’ve never mentioned this, but that gag came about because I read a lot of the press,” MacFarlane said. “You should never read your own press, but I read a lot of press leading up to the Oscars and it was a lot of really angry, foaming-at-the-mouth kind of stuff. It was just like, ‘Oh, I bet I know what he’s going to do and I hate him for it’ from a lot of these outlets. Mostly from the Hollywood press. It got to the point where I had to comment on it in some way. My original idea was very tame, old style song and dance. In a way, you helped create what you despise. It’s this idea of creating an alternate Oscars that was exactly what they were afraid would happen. That’s what gets forgotten. They always forgot context.”

The Academy has not announced a new Oscars host for this year following the Kevin Hart fiasco in December. The 91st Academy Awards air February 24, 2019.

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