Will Kevin Hart return as Oscars host? The comedian said Thursday he is “evaluating” whether to return to the job he stepped down from last month over the backlash he faced concerning his past homophobic remarks.
The comments came during a taping of Ellen DeGeneres’ talk show on Thursday — his first interview since the scandal.
“You have put a lot of things on my mind,” he says in the clip below. “Leaving here, I’m promising 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.
“Let me assess, just to sit in the space and really think and you and I will talk before anything else,” Hart continued. “That’s my plan.”
The comments come exactly a month after Hart was named the host of the 2019 Oscars ceremony. However, he stepped down just two days later after several anti-gay remarks he had made years earlier resurfaced on social media. At first, Hart posted several non-responses on social media, including one infamous Instagram video in which he appeared shirtless in bed telling the public “stop looking for reasons to be negative.”
In a second social media video posted just hours later, he revealed that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences had given him an ultimatum: apologize or step down. Hart announced he had decided to back out of the Oscars hosting gig — while also apologizing to the LGBTQ community for his past “insensitive” comments.
Discussing his past homophobic comments on Friday’s episode of “The Ellen Show,” Hart said, “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.”
Hart’s hourlong interview with DeGeneres was notable not only because of her sexual orientation but also because she has previously hosted the Oscars. Both DeGeneres and Hart teased the interview on social media Thursday, with the former telling followers she had moved it up to air Friday instead of next week because “I don’t want you to have to wait.”
In a second clip from Friday’s show, DeGeneres revealed to the audience that she called the academy and asked them to reinstate Hart as host.
“I called the academy today because I really want you to host the Oscars. I was so excited when I heard that they asked you. I thought it was an amazing thing,” DeGeneres said on the show. “So I called them. I said, ‘I have no idea if he wants to come back and host but what are your thoughts?’”
The academy’s response, according to DeGeneres, was very positive. “They were like, ‘Oh my God, we want him to host. … We want him to host. Whatever we can do, we would be thrilled and he should host the Oscars.”
DeGeneres also said she thought Hart would do an outstanding job as host. (No replacement was named after Hart stepped down.): “What we’re going to get to see onstage with you hosting the Oscars is sophistication, class, hilarity and you growing as a person.”