Eddie Murphy Turned Down Oscars Hosting Gig After Kevin Hart Scandal Reports ‘Radar Online’

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A new report by Radar Online alleges that legendary comedian Eddie Murphy turned down a gig to host the 2019 Academy Awards, just days after Kevin Hart stepped down from the position.

Radar Online reported that Murphy was “offered a massive fee and the right to use footage from the show in one of his future films — which would have been worth millions,” according to an insider close to the situation.

“The producers were shocked,” continued the source. “They knew they’d have a tough time convincing him given his X-rated comedy background and after the embarrassment Kevin Hart had to endure when his past anti-gay comments came to light!”

Murphy’s colorful comedy background would likely not stand the test of contemporary times in the wake of the #timesup and #metoo movements.

Back in 2011, Murphy was tapped to host the 2012 Academy Awards show, but stepped down from the job. The Hollywood Reporter revealed that Murphy left the gig to helm the 84th Academy Awards telecast after his creative partner, show producer Brett Ratner, exited. Ratner was accused of homophobic and sexist remarks after appearing on Howard Stern’s radio show.

At the time, Murphy released a statement, reported CBS — one which read, “First and foremost I want to say that I completely understand and support each party’s decision with regard to a change of producers for this year’s Academy Awards ceremony. I was truly looking forward to being a part of the show that our production team and writers were just starting to develop, but I’m sure that the new production team and host will do an equally great job.”

Kevin Hart stepped down from the 2019 awards show after several old tweets resurfaced, tweets wherein the comedian made controversial remarks. Hart later apologized for his remarks on several different occasions, apologizing “to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past.”

Since Hart’s departure — and the purported refusal from Murphy — it seems the telecast will go without a host for the first time in 30 years. The last time the show did not have a core person to keep the telecast running smoothly, and to make commentary on the winners and attendees, was in 1989, per USA Today.

That show opened with an 11-minute long musical number starring actor Rob Lowe and Snow White. The next day, reported USA Today, film icons such as Paul Newman and Julie Andrews signed an open letter calling the 1989 telecast “an embarrassment to both the Academy and the entire motion-picture industry.”

The 91st Annual Academy Awards airs Sunday, February 24 on ABC.