Kevin Hart appeared on The Ellen DeGeneresShow to promote his upcoming comedy-drama, The Upside co-starring Bryan Cranston. Of course, Hart had to address the Oscars controversy over decade-old homophobic tweets that spiraled into him resigning from that hosting gig within days. The comedian and DeGeneres were spending the majority of their conversation on the outrage and its aftermath when the talk show host revealed that she reached out to the Academy to re-hire Hart. The awarding body is still interested, according to DeGeneres.
“They were like, ‘Oh my God, we want him to host,'" DeGeneres said. "'We feel like maybe it was misunderstood or it was handled wrong or maybe we said the wrong thing, but we want him to host. Whatever we could do, we would be thrilled.’”
DeGeneres, herself a former Oscars host, then defended Hart, calling the internet critics and mudslingers "a small group of people being very loud." But the normally enthusiastic Hart was hesitant because he believed that the offending comments popping up right after his hosting job got announced was a concentrated attack.
“To any attack, there’s another side," Hart said. "There’s always an A-side and there’s a B-side. On my side, I say, openly, I’m wrong for my past words. I said it. I understand that. I know that. My kids know when their dad messes up, I’m in front of it because I want to be an example so they know what to do. In this case, it’s tough for me because it was an attack. This wasn’t an accident; it wasn’t a coincidence. It wasn’t a coincidence that the day after I received the job that tweets just manifested from 2008.
“To go through 40,000 tweets to get back to 2008. That’s an attack. That’s a malicious attack on my character. That’s an attack to end me. That’s not an attack to just stop the Oscars.”
DeGeneres still remained steadfast in her believe that Hart should host the Oscars, because it's his dream.“But [the trolls] are gonna win, if you don’t host the Oscars," DeGeneres said. "So for you to stand up and say, ’No,’ whoever you are…who knows who this person is or people? Who cares? You can’t let them destroy you and they can’t destroy you because you have too much talent. And for them to stop you from your dream, to do what you wanted to do—and what you have a right to do, what you should be doing—it’s why they haven’t found another host. I think they were secretly hoping that you would come back.”
Her plea was strong enough for Hart to say he'd be "evaluating" taking the Academy up on their offer.
When the homophobic tweets resurfaced, Hart drew further criticism for not apologizing, saying that he addressed the tweets in the past. It wasn't until he stepped down as the Academy Awards' host that he apologized to the LGBTQ community.
I have made the choice to step down from hosting this year's Oscar's....this is because I do not want to be a distraction on a night that should be celebrated by so many amazing talented artists. I sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past.
Hart gave his account of that days-long span when he was the official Oscars host in the interview, which airs on Friday instead of Monday because DeGeneres didn't want her viewers to wait for what she calls an "incredible and honest conversation." Read Hart's take below.
When it happened, my first thought is I’m gonna ignore it. I’m gonna ignore it because it was 10 years old. This is stuff I’ve addressed. I’ve talked about this. This isn’t new—I’ve addressed it. I’ve apologized for it; I’m not gonna pay it any mind. Because when you feed into that stuff, you only add more fuel to the fire.