Queen and Adam Lambert took the stage to open the 2019 Oscars with “We Will Rock You” and “We Are the Champions,” setting the tone for a ceremony that lost host Kevin Hart because of years-old homophobic tweets for which he has since apologized.
Lambert, who is openly gay, led the band featured in the film “Bohemian Rhapsody” through an opening that also included “We Are the Champions,” which served as a Freddie Mercury tribute. There was a subtle message of tolerance since Hart lost the job in part because of a sense that he was not contrite enough.
Hart spoke about the issue in an appearance on “Ellen,” though he has continued to face backlash, including from CNN anchor Don Lemon, who said it was not Ellen DeGeneres’ place to forgive Hart.
At the end of the performance, that saw the audience dancing and swaying along to the two songs, a picture of Mercury was shown on screen. “Bohemian Rhapsody” is nominated for five Academy Awards, including a Best Actor nod for Rami Malek, who played Mercury in the biopic. It is also up for Best Picture.
Since there was no host, Maya Rudolph, Amy Poehler and Tina Fey took the stage to deliver a round of jokes. The three comedians hoped that readers of USA Today would think they were the hosts given how long they told jokes at the beginning of the show.
The 91st Academy Awards were held in Los Angeles, California.