This makes up for last year.
Let's take a minute to congratulate ourselves, or take a bow, or do whatever we do when we're feeling kinda okay about ourselves: Ellen DeGeneres is hosting the Oscars, and feels like a really safe choice.
Take a second to feel good about that: A gay woman is hosting the Oscars, and no one cares. I feel like a stick in the mud even pointing it out.
Yeah, I know. Hollywood isn't America. The entertainment industry is way out front on this sort of thing. But America isn't freaking out. No one cares. I've made too much of it already. She already hosted once before, in 2007, so this isn't even a thing, really.
But one last time: It's great. The Oscars didn't even have a female host until the 20th ceremony, when Agnes Moorehead shared the job with Dick Powell. (I Googled.)
This is a victory for basic human decency. DeGeneres' great gift is putting people at ease. It's a talent we too rarely recognize as a talent. But it may be the best one to have. She'll be not just a host, but a host. A person who welcomes you to a party and makes you feel more comfortable there.
She seems fundamentally nice.
DeGeneres will be the opposite of last year's host, Seth MacFarlane, who threw out a frantic mix of so-so jokes: pop culture references, a song about breasts, and gay-panic routine. It didn't feel confident. The approach felt slapdash and haphazard.
But Ellen? This is a person who dances in public, a lot. She'll be herself. She seems to like who she is.
So do we. Good work, everybody.
- Arts & Entertainment
- Ellen DeGeneres