Comedian Kevin Hart has been confirmed as the official host for the forthcoming 2019 Academy Awards.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, who have faced a significant backlash in recent years amid claims black actors were overlooked in 2015 and 2016, announced comedian Hart as the MC for what will be the 91st Oscars event.
39-year-old Hart enters what is an exclusive club of African-American’s who have hosted the event, only Chris Rock, Whoopi Goldberg and Richard Pryor came before.
“For years I have been asked if I would ever Host the Oscars and my answer was always the same…I said that it would be the opportunity of a lifetime for me as a comedian and that it will happen when it’s supposed to. I am so happy to say that the day has finally come for me to host the Oscars.
“I am blown away simply because this has been a goal on my list for a long time, the be able to join this legendary list of host that have graced that stage is unbelievable.”
He added: “I know my mom is smiling from ear to ear right now. I want to thank my family/friends/fans for supporting me and riding with me all this time… I will be sure to make this year’s Oscars a special one”
“Welcome to the family,” the Academy tweeted in response.