Oscars Co-Host Wanda Sykes Promises Show Won’t Be “Mean-Spirited” – Deadline

In a year of controversy and a self-described untypical Oscars, co-host Wanda Sykes on Thursday promised there would be some jabs in Sunday’s ceremony, but no one will get hurt.

“We’re trying to stay aligned with the themes,” The Good Fight alum said today of the uniting power of film at a virtual press conference for the 94th Academy Awards.. “We aren’t going to trash anyone – satire but not mean-spirited,” Sykes added.

However, never one to let a good joke go, Sykes wasn’t entirely done, noting how hard it is to keep things PG and kind-hearted.

“Regina, we got to hold her back sometimes, she goes for the jugular,” the Upshaws star said of co-host and Girls Trip star Regina Hall.

Sitting next to Sykes, Hall had her own take on working with both Sykes and Amy Schumer and Sunday’s show.

“What’s been fun is being able to collaborate and create something together that shows what we each do differently,” Hall said. “We really want to make the night so celebratory.”

“The lovely Amy Schumer cannot be with us today,” said AMPAS PR chief Jennifer Davidson at the top of today’s press, promising the Trainwreck star’s absence had nothing to do with Covid-19.

Set to be at the Dolby on Hollywood Boulevard on Sunday, Schumer will host one hour of the Oscars, as will Sykes and Hall respectively for the most part. As Sykes said today, the plan is for the trio to open the show together and appear as a duo throughout the Oscars. No word yet on who will be presenting the Best Picture winner at the end of a night that producer Will Packer promised again won’t be longer than three hours on ABC.

Sykes, Hall and Packer were joined at today’s presser by fellow producer Shayla Cowan, director Glenn Weiss, production designer David Korins and musical director Adam Blackstone.

With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine certain to come up from presenters and winners, Packer sidestepped Schumer’s previous suggestion that the Eastern European nation’s president Volodymyr Zelenskyy should be given the spotlight during Sunday’s show.

“The show is still in process — that’s not something we would say one way or another,” the powerhouse producer said in a much more serious tone than he adopted for most of the press conference. “Stay tuned,” Packer deadpanned.

Sykes being Sykes nailed the whole Zelenskyy cameo enterprise with a quick “Isn’t he busy right now?”

In regards to how the NATO-opposed invasion by Putin’s forces will be handled on the telecast, Sykes also said that “Will and Shayla have something planned” that is “organic and thoughtful.” Her co-host Hall added, “It’s a delicate situation.”

Indeed.

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