Whoopi Goldberg Gives Her Pick for 2019 Oscars Host After Kevin Hart Steps Down

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Whoopi Goldberg
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Whoopi Goldberg is pushing hard for fellow comedian Ken Jeong to host next year’s Oscars.

The beloved actress and TV personality, who has hosted the Academy Awards four times herself, visited The Late Show With Stephen Colbert on Tuesday, where she emphatically submitted the Hangover star’s name for the gig.

“I want Ken to do it, Ken Jeong,” she said when Stephen Colbert asked if she’s been called since Kevin Hart announced that he is stepping down from the role.

“He would be brilliant,” she continued. “It would also constitute the first Asian American to host the Oscars. It would be a whole series of firsts. And he also loves film and I think that’s what you need in a host. You need somebody who actually gets why films are great and can tell you the ins and the outs and the silliness of movies.”

Jeong himself also shared his enthusiasm for the gig while visiting Late Night With Seth Meyers on Tuesday. After the host suggested he’d be a good choice, the 49-year-old comedian grew quiet and stood to show his enthusiasm before taking his seat again.

“I was always taught…when you set goals, make sure you keep them very high,” he explained. “If I do not become the host of the Oscars, I will consider not only my career but my life a failure… I want it so bad.”

Jeong visited The View earlier this week, where he also made his case for the hosting job and presumably won over Goldberg in the process. 

“In my opinion, if I don’t get to host the Oscars, like divorce, I would consider myself a failure... It’s so important to me. I have to do this,” he said after co-host Joy Behar mentioned that the Academy is reportedly considering going without a host next year.

Hart announced that he had accepted the prestigious position on Dec. 4 but by Dec. 6 he said that he had decided not to do the gig amid pressure from the Academy to apologize for several blatantly homophobic jokes.

"I have made the choice to step down from hosting this year's Oscar's," he wrote in a tweet. "This is because I do not want to be a distraction on a night that should be celebrated by so many amazing talented artists. I sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past."

"I'm sorry that I hurt people," he added. "I am evolving and want to continue to do so. My goal is to bring people together not tear us apart.  Much love & appreciation to the Academy.  I hope we can meet again." 

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