Last month, it was announced that Kevin Hart would host the 91st annual Academy Awards, but the comedian quickly quit the gig after refusing to apologize for old, homophobic and transphobic tweets that surfaced in the wake of the announcement. The Academy’s since considered moving forward without a host, but no decision has been made. If you’re wondering why, well, Ellen DeGeneres has an answer: The Academy still wants Hart for the job.
Hart sat down with DeGeneres, a former Oscars host, on her talk show on Thursday, and the interview, which airs today, finds DeGeneres rallying behind Hart and revealing that she personally called the Academy to ask if they would consider reinstating Hart. “We want him to host, whatever we can do, we would be thrilled, and he should host,” she said they said.
This comes via Deadline, who characterize those who dug up Hart’s tweets as “trolls.” DeGeneres seems to feel the same way about them. “Don’t pay attention to them; they are a small group of people who are very, very loud,” DeGeneres said to Hart. “We are a huge group of people who love you and want you to host the Oscars.”
Hart replied by saying “it’s tough for me because it was an attack, a malicious attack on my character, to end me.”
DeGeneres also called those offended by Hart’s (gross, mean, bizarrely aggressive) tweets “haters,” saying “they will win if you don’t host the Oscars.” She continued, “You can’t let them destroy you because you have too much talent, and for them to stop you from your dream, from what you want to do, what you have the right to do, what you should be doing… Don’t let those people win, host the Oscars… That’s why they (The Academy) haven’t found another host, because they are secretly hoping that you would come back.”
Hart, who says he’s grown over the past several years and admits he made the jokes when he was “an immature comedian,” says he’s considering the possibility of returning as host.
“Leaving here, I promise you I’m evaluating this conversation. Let me assess, just sit in the space and really think, and you and I will talk before anything else,” he said.
Watch Ellen lay out her case below.
And here’s Hart discussing his old tweets and the backlash he received.