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Ellen to host 85th Oscars, as Academy diversifies

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which hands out the Oscars, says the comedian and chat-show host Ellen DeGeneres will host next year’s awards ceremony.

“I am so excited to be hosting the Oscars for the second time,” DeGeneres said in a statement. Her performance in 2007 earned her an Emmy nomination.

The producers of the show, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, said, “There are few stars today who have Ellen’s gift for comedy, with her great warmth and humanity.”

Hollywood commentators see her as a safer choice than this year‘s host, Ted‘s Seth MacFarlane, whose controversial performance divided audiences.

The announcement of having Hollywood’s most high-profile lesbian hosting Hollywood’s most high-profile event comes just days after the Academy picked its first black president, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, who is also the first woman to lead the organisation for three decades. The two appointments, within less than a week, are being seen by some as a sign that the Academy, often viewed as being dominated by middle-aged white men, is trying to embrace diversity to become more relevant to society in the twenty first century.

Boone Isaacs said DeGeneres was the ideal host for the 85th Academy Awards show, which will take place at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, on 2nd March 2014.

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