Australian comedian Hannah Gadsby is being touted as a potential Oscars host after the sudden withdrawal of Kevin Hart.
The Nanette star was suggested as a strong candidate by influential Hollywood trade publication Variety, to anchor the February 25 ceremony.
It rated her in the same rarefied air as established A-list performers including Ellen DeGeneres, Neil Patrick Harris, Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy.
According to Variety, the Please Like Me actor’s name “was floated” to the Academy after “her one-minute Emmy presentation stole the show”.
It said her “social commentary on a number of LGBTQ issues” would be a timely foil to Hart’s historic homophobia.
Hart, who is touring Australia, was named as host last Tuesday but stepped aside two days later after refusing to apologise for tweets that resurfaced.
He has since deleted some of the anti-gay tweets, which mostly-dated from between 2009 and 2011. On Thursday, he wrote on Instagram that critics should “stop being negative” about his earlier anti-gay remarks.
“I’m almost 40 years old. If you don’t believe that people change, grow, evolve? I don’t know what to tell you,” said Hart.
Variety’s other Oscars host tips included comic actor Donald Glover, Broadway star (and Twitter favourite) Lin Manuel-Miranda, Crazy Rich Asians’ Ken Jeong and rapper-turned-actress Awkwafina.
Gadbsy – a finalist in the 2019 Australian LGBTI Awards to be held in Sydney in March – has limited hosting experience but is no stranger to awards shows.
Nanette won comedy special of the year at Montreal’s 2018 Just For Laughs and she has won a Helpmann and gongs at the Melbourne International Comedy and Edinburgh Fringe festivals.
Her natural, pointed Emmys turn in September was a highlight of the show, with Gadsby flicking at her sudden rise to global fame after 10 years as a stand-up comedian.
“The world’s gone a bit crazy. I mean for somebody like me, a nobody from nowhere, gets this sweet gig, free suit, new boots just cause I don’t like men,” she said.
“That’s a joke of course. Just jokes fellas, calm down. Hashtag not all men but a lot of them.”
After the event, she hung out with presenter Sandra Oh, who last week was named with Andy Samberg to host the Golden Globes in January.
In an Instagram post about meeting Killing Eve leading lady Oh, Gadsby riffed the pair should co-host a “leaving early” awards.
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Even before the ceremony she was a hit with other stars. One Tree Hill’s Sophia Bush raved about the Tasmanian at a pre-Emmys gala, calling Nanette “a revelation”, and Gadsby hung out with Oscar winner Jodie Foster at a Netflix event in September.
The Oscars hosting buzz comes amid a busy week for Gadsby, 40.
At December 5’s AACTA Awards in Sydney, she won best performance in a television comedy.
She wasn’t there to accept because she was making a speech that went viral at The Hollywood Reporter’s 2018 Women in Entertainment gala in Los Angeles.
Gadsby slammed Hollywood’s “good men” for continuing to talk about the industry’s misogyny problem.
“The last thing I need right now in this moment in history is to have to listen to men monologue about misogyny and how other men should stop being ‘creepy’, as if that’s the problem.
“Do you know what’s creepy? Spiders, because we don’t know how they move. Rejecting the humanity of a woman is not creepiness. It is misogyny.”
The New Daily contacted Gadsby’s management for comment.