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After Adam Lambert and Queen opened the 2019 Oscars with an electrifying medley performance, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph took the stage to present the award for best supporting actress to If Beale Street Could Talk‘s Regina King.
But before doing so, the Saturday Night Live alums poked fun at the awards show’s multiple gaffes this year. First, Fey took aim at the fact that the show had to forgo a host.
“We are not your hosts, but we’re going to stand here a little too long so that the people who get USA Today tomorrow will think that we hosted,” said Fey.
Last month, Kevin Hart stepped down as Oscars host after the resurfacing of past homophobic tweets and offensive jokes about the possibility of his son being gay. The Academy gave him an ultimatum — apologize or step down — and he chose the latter. Weeks later, it was announced that this year’s Oscars would have no host for the first time in decades.
“So just a quick update for everybody in case you’re confused. There is no host tonight, there won’t be a popular movie category,” said Rudolph, referencing the Academy’s controversial popular film category, which they did away with after facing backlash. Rudolph also added this politically charged message seemingly aimed at President Donald Trump: “And Mexico is not paying for the wall.”
Poehler then brought up the Academy’s reversal of its decision to hand out four Oscars during the telecast’s commercial breaks.
“That’s right. And we won’t be doing awards during the commercials, but we will be presenting commercials during the awards,” joked Poehler. “So if all the winners could please say, ‘Hellmann’s Mayonnaise, we’re on the right side of food,’ instead of your speeches that would be great.”
The awards that were set to be handed out during commercial breaks were cinematography, live-action short, film editing, and makeup and hairstyling. Prior to the Academy’s reversal, many notable names — including BlacKkKlansman director Spike Lee, La La Land producer Jordan Horowitz and Shape of Water director Guillermo del Toro, among others — expressed their dismay and employed the hashtag #PresentAll24 on social media.
The 91st annual Academy Awards aired live on ABC from the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood.
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Tracee Ellis Ross