2019 Oscars: Who Votes for the Winners?

Hollywood’s biggest night is an occasion where movie stars and fans alike can celebrate together, honoring the top entertainment of the year. For over ninety years, the Academy Awards has been one of the most-watched broadcasts of the year.

Fans love seeing all their favorite stars walk the red carpet in the most glamorous outfits imaginable, and to witness Hollywood legends present newcomers and veterans alike with golden trophies during the hours-long ceremony. The 2019 Oscars, set for February 24th, promises to be one for the books, with controversy and hot debate taking center stage during the Academy’s big night.

The 2019 Oscars controversies

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The 2019 Academy Awards starting getting buzz well in advance of the show, but there’s one important detail that could end up defining this year’s show. The show will be going live without a host, and while this isn’t the first time in Academy history that the Oscars have been host-less, it’s definitely not a good sign for the broadcast. 

The whole debacle started after Kevin Hart was initially announced as the 2019 Oscars host. However, after some years-old tweets surfaced in which Hart made several homophobic statements, the public voiced concerns with Hart in the role. Kevin Hart, stating that he had apologized years ago for the tweets, refused to do so again and stepped down from his role as host. Although a few worthy candidates tossed their names in the ring after Hart stepped down, including The View host Whoopi Goldberg, the Academy was unable to finalize any deals, and ultimately it was announced that the show would go live without a host. 

Who will decide the winners?

While the famed awards show will not have a host this year, the winners will be chosen in the traditional manner of ceremonies past. Unlike some awards shows, the winners for every Academy Awards category, from Best Actor to Best Original Screenplay, are all chosen by distinguished members of the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences. Academy members are industry professionals, hand-picked by existing members to join the elite club. Gaining membership to the Academy is notoriously difficult, and each year there is only a very short window where new members are accepted.

The process of choosing nominees for each category and ultimately, selecting winners, is quite complicated, and Academy members have to abide by a strict rule book that is updated each year. It’s a lengthy process as well – there are well over 7,000 Academy members, and members are required to only vote on those categories where they have experience. For instance, only members that have experience in music would vote on who wins Best Original Score. There are some exceptions to this rule in certain categories, including Best Animated Feature.

Once the winner in each category is determined, the results are kept strictly under wraps until Oscar night, when sealed envelopes are used to transport and ultimately reveal the big winner. It’s a serious job, and without a doubt, members of the Academy consider voting on the Oscars one of their biggest duties of the year. 

Who will announce the winners this year?

Although there’s no host to keep the night running smoothly, the 2019 Oscars will feature some of the biggest stars in Hollywood as presenters. The Academy announced that presenters will include Daniel Craig, Jennifer Lopez, Maya Rudolph, Sam Rockwell, Allison Janney, and Gary Oldman. There will likely be a few surprise presenters as well, that probably won’t be revealed until the last moment.

Despite the controversy and lack of a host, the 2019 Academy Awards will surely be an impressive evening that showcases the best of Hollywood’s talent and beauty.