Kevin Hart Reconsidering Decision to Host Oscars Amid Renewed Backlash
Comedian and actor Kevin Hart may be rethinking his decision last month to drop the Oscar hosting gig.
This comes after his appearance today on the Ellen Degeneres Show, where the eponymous host asks him to reconsider.
In early December, just 48 hours after accepting the Academy Awards hosting job, Hart stepped down, following a public outcry over anti-gay tweets the comedian posted and comments made during some of his old stand-up routines from nearly a decade ago. He sent out these apology tweets on December 7th.
"I have made the choice to step down from hosting this year's Oscars. 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."
"I'm sorry that I hurt people.. I am evolving and want to continue to do so. My goal is to bring people together not tear us apart. Much love & appreciation to the Academy. I hope we can meet again."
Degeneres told Hart during the interview that she personally reached out to the Academy to ask them to reconsider hiring him.
"I said Kevin's on. I have no idea if he wants to come back and host, but what are your thoughts and they were like, "Oh my God. We want him to host. We feel like that maybe he misunderstood or it was handled wrong or we said the wrong thing."
Hart was passionate in stating what he thinks was truly behind the controversy.
"This was to destroy me. This was to end all partnerships, all brand relationships, all investment opportunities, studio relationships, my production company and the people that work underneath me."
During the course of the interview, Degeneres goes on to express her support for Hart.
"You have grown. You have apologized. You're apologizing again right now. You've done it. Don't let those people win. Host the Oscars."
But, it seems Degeneres' interview has generated more backlash. This time, most of it directed against her. Many critics say Degeneres was too easy on the comedian.
'Out' entertainment director Tre'Vell Anderson penned an Op-ed titled "The Problem with Ellen Degeneres' Kevin Hart Interview" in which he, like many, noted that Hart's tweets were directed at gay men, not wealthy white queer women.
On Twitter, he wrote: "I expected Ellen to actually ask Kevin Hart some sort of challenging question. Anything, really. But instead, it was just one long monologue from Kevin interspersed with Ellen’s approval. That interview made me miss the previous talk show hosts that asked tough questions."
Others said Degeneres had the chance to hold Hart accountable for what he said about the LGBTQ+, but instead allowed him to portray himself as the victim.
Comedian Billy Eichner of Funny or Die's 'Billy on the Street', who released a statement when Hart's homophobic tweets first resurfaced, has been retweeting criticisms of Degeneres' interview.
The whole thing has sparked even more controversy and generated alot of discussion on Twitter.
Ellen Degeneres, Academy Awards producers and Kevin Hart have yet to comment on this latest controversy.
With the resurging backlash, Hart's decision might already be made for him.
The 91st Academy Awards ceremony is set to air February 24, 2019.