'what have I done in the last three months'
When it came to this year's Emmys, Cedric the Entertainer didn't want another Kevin Hart situation.
The comedian is set to serve as host of the annual Emmy Awards on Sunday, and he told USA Today that as soon as he was hired for the gig, the "first thing that crossed my mind was when Kevin Hart got canceled for the Oscars." He added that he immediately asked himself, "Wait a minute, what have I done in the last three months that is going to get me canceled before I even go to work?"
The Neighborhood star cracked the same joke in a separate interview with The Associated Press, quipping, "Just try not to get canceled beforehand, that's the biggest thing."
Comedian Kevin Hart famously stepped down as host of the Academy Awards in 2018 after being criticized for past homophobic jokes. At the time, he said he didn't "want to be a distraction" and apologized "for my insensitive words from my past." The Oscars never hired a replacement for Hart, and the ceremony has gone without a host ever since.
After 2020's Emmys took place in a mostly empty Staples Center due to the pandemic, Sunday's show will bring back a live audience. However, Cedric noted the event had to be scaled back due to the spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19 and will be held in a tent.
"It was going to be a much bigger audience there," he told USA Today. "At first, the idea was to really bring it back full steam ahead and now, with the new variant, there's been some sizing down."
In terms of the tone of the show, Cedric also told The New York Times he hopes to "remove the velvet rope of it all" and that "though we're dressed up and wearing tuxedos, I don't want that Oscars feel."