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JUL
8
3 YEARS

Academy: No Talks With Oprah Winfrey About Hosting Oscars

"It’s not true, and I don’t know where that story even came from,” Academy president Tom Sherak tells THR, responding to press reports.

Oprah's Last Hurrah
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences hasn’t zeroed in on Oprah Winfrey to host its 84th Academy Awards -- despite reports that hit the web Friday that had Winfrey in talks to take on the high-profile gig.

“The camera loves Oprah. Oprah’s a genius. But it’s not true, and I don’t know where that story even came from,” Academy president Tom Sherak tells THR, responding to stories that began with a Chicago Sun-Times post that claimed “Winfrey is topping the list of candidates to host the 84th Oscars."

“You have to remember how it works,” Sherak explains of the process of choosing a host. “First, I have to hire a producer, and then the producer comes to the Academy with suggestions for the host. So how could we have a host without a producer?”

Sherak hasn’t lined up a producer yet, although he hopes to secure one during the coming month so that he can present his choice at the Academy’s next board of governors meeting Aug. 2.

Although in some years, the Academy hasn’t selected a producer until as late as October, and the choice of host has come even later than that, last year Sherak announced the Academy had selected producers Bruce Cohen and Don Mischer on July 22. And Sherak has indicated he’d like to lock up a producer or producing team sooner rather than later to give them as much time as possible to prepare for the annual awards show, which will be broadcast on February 26 by ABC.

Winfrey has made several appearances as a presenter on Oscar shows, most recently appearing on this year’s awards to present the documentary feature award. She was also nominated in 1986 as best supporting actress for her role in The Color Purple.

Email: Gregg.Kilday@thr.com

Twitter: @GKilday