This year's Oscars was initially set to be hosted by Kevin Hart, but in December he backed away after past jokes from him came to light that contained anti-gay slurs. Kevin noted he didn't want to be a "distraction" to the ceremony.
The Rock revealed he was actually the first choice for this year's show, but filming Jumanji 2 didn't allow for their schedules to lineup.
Ah mahalo dude, I was their first choice to host this year, and my goal was to make it the most fun and entertaining Oscars ever. We all tried hard, but couldn’t make it work since I’m shooting Jumanji. Academy and I were super bummed but maybe one day down the road 🥃 https://t.co/eiiMuBNOzb— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) February 6, 2019