UPDATE: ABC says the rumors of Goldberg hosting the Oscars are "absolutely false." The original article follows.
A new conspiracy theory suggests Whoopi Goldberg is the secret host of the 2019 Oscars. At long last, a tumultuous year for the Academy is winding to a close, with the 91st Academy Awards taking place this Sunday, February 24. Normally at this time, cinephiles are engaged in passionate debates about which movies should win, but this has hardly been your typical Oscar season. All of the bewildering nominations and stunning snubs were an afterthought due to a plethora of ill-conceived ideas to improve the broadcast, such as a Best Popular Film category and relegating certain awards to commercial breaks. The Academy eventually backtracked on all the proposed changes.
To make matters worse, this is the first time in 30 years the Oscars will officially be without a host. Back in December 2018, Kevin Hart was hired for the job, but he quickly stepped down after becoming embroiled in controversy regarding past homophobic comments and tweets of his. Instead of bringing in a replacement, the Academy decided to go sans emcee and recruit an A-list lineup of award presenters instead. But now some are speculating they have a surprise in store for when the ceremony begins.
A theory that appears to have been started by Peter Knegt (hat tip The Guardian) makes the case that Goldberg will be this year's Oscar host. The evidence stems from the fact Goldberg has not been on The View for the past few weeks, since she was announced as one of the Oscar presenters. Officially, the explanation for this is Goldberg has an illness, but some believe she's been preparing for Hollywood's biggest night. It's worth mentioning ABC broadcasts The View and the Oscars, and Goldberg hosted the ceremony four times before.
As tantalizing as this sounds, there's one obvious hole to poke in the theory. The Academy is desperate for good PR and higher ratings, so if they had in fact found a host, they'd want to promote that and generate buzz ahead of time so people tune in at the beginning of the telecast (and not later on when they see the story break on social media). It's already been confirmed Queen will perform at the show, presumably as the opening act in place of a host monologue. The Academy is hoping the legendary rock band (subject of hit biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, a Best Picture nominee) will be enough to draw in viewers. Admittedly, that's not the worst plan, seeing that Queen's songs are well-known and loved across multiple generations. The commercial success of Bohemian Rhapsody led to their music soaring back up the charts.
Still, it would be unwise to completely discount this theory until the Oscars ceremony starts. In a season that's been wild, crazy, and unpredictable, it really wouldn't be out of the question for the Academy to think a "secret host" is a good idea in an attempt to shock the audience and create a "moment" that could go viral. One thing's for sure, however. Cinephiles will be happy when this Oscar year is complete and hopefully things go a bit smoother in 2020.
Source: The Guardian
Update Source: TV Line