The people spoke and Academy listened: MacFarlane is out, DeGeneres is in

By Melissa Maerz
August 09, 2013 at 04:00 AM EDT

We’ve seen your boobs, Hollywood, and we don’t want them hosting the Oscars anymore. That was the message when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences tapped Ellen DeGeneres, 55, to emcee the Academy Awards on March 2, 2014. The fact that a woman was selected felt like a well-earned apology for the arguably sexist humor of this year’s Seth MacFarlane, especially since DeGeneres was greenlit by AMPAS’ new president, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, only the third woman in history with the title. DeGeneres will be the first woman to host solo since her own stint in 2007, when she proved to be a comfortably conservative choice. And after attempts at courting younger, edgier viewers with James Franco, Anne Hathaway, and MacFarlane, the Academy’s back to playing it safe with a good-natured host whose most controversial barb last time involved her childhood dream of hosting instead of acting. (”Let that be a lesson to you kids out there: Aim lower.”) Still, that turn won her an Emmy nod. And since DeGeneres isn’t a triple threat (that dancing doesn’t count!), we might escape the dreaded musical number.