Kevin Hart is reconsidering his decision to step down as Oscars host after Ellen DeGeneres spoke to people at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to vouch for him following an uproar over his old homophobic tweets.
DeGeneres, who has hosted the award ceremony in the past, revealed that she called someone at the Academy to ask its leaders to reconsider Hart.
“…they were like, ‘Oh my God, we want him to host! We feel like that maybe he misunderstood or it was handled wrong. Maybe we said the wrong thing but we want him to host. Whatever we can do we would be thrilled. And he should host the Oscars’,” DeGeneres said.
Hart told the talk show host that he would “assess” whether he was interested in reprising the role.
“Leaving here, I promise you, I’m evaluating this conversation. This is a conversation I needed to have, I’m glad that I had it here, and I’m glad that it was as authentic and real as I could have hoped that it would be. So let me assess, just to sit in this space and really think, and you and I will talk before anything else.”
Hart was announced as the Oscars 2019 host in December but he stepped down just 48 hours later amid controversy over his old tweets that had resurfaced.
The comedian initially refused to apologise for the resurfaced remarks, choosing instead to pass on the gig. But he later offered an apology to the LGBTQ community.
Encouraging Hart to come back, DeGeneres said he would bring “sophistication, class and hilarity” on the Oscars stage.
She advised him not to pay attention to online criticism.
“Whatever is going on in the internet, don’t pay attention to them. That’s a small group of people being very, very loud. We are a huge group of people who love you and want to see you how the Oscars,” she added.
Hart’s exit had created an issue for the Academy as it is rare for a host to decline the offer, despite it being the most challenging ceremony to anchor.
Oscars will take place on February 24.