Ellen Says the Academy Wants Kevin Hart Back
On today’s episode of Ellen, Ellen DeGeneres reveals that she called the Academy and asked them to reinstate Kevin Hart as the host of this year’s Oscars. Hart was named the host of next month’s Academy Awards back in December, but two days later he quit after refusing to apologize for homophobic tweets and jokes he had made in the past. DeGeneres, who calls Hart “a friend” on the show, believes Hart is sorry for what he’d said anyway, and thinks he should still host the Oscars — and apparently someone at the Academy agrees.
DeGeneres, who hosted the Academy Awards in 2007 and 2014, says she spoke with the Academy (she doesn’t name who) and they said (in her words) “We want him to host, we feel like maybe he misunderstood or it was handled wrong, or 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 also tweeted “I believe in forgiveness. I believe in second chances. And I believe in Kevin Hart.”
You can watch DeGeneres and Hart’s conversation below:
(Someone please tell Kevin Hart about the search function on Twitter. It’s very easy to use, and can be very helpful in situations where, for example, a famous comedian gets a high-profile gig and you’re curious whether they have a history of making homophobic remarks.)
Everyone will have their own opinion on this subject, and they are more than entitled to it. Personally, I think if Hart had just apologized, seemed genuinely contrite, and moved on, he should have been allowed to host the Oscars. But he specifically chose to quit rather than apologize. (You can watch his Instagram video from December where he “passes” on apologizing here.)
On Ellen, Hart talks about apologies he's made in the past, but never really apologizes. Instead, he mostly casts himself as a victim, who had this great moment of triumph taken from him, even though he’s the one who quit in the first place. He called the discovery of his old tweets a “malicious attack” on him personally designed to destroy his career, and called the people who were offended by his tweets “trolls.” (So does DeGeneres, for that matter.) He doesn’t sound sorry; he sounds angry and defensive. Now with Ellen relaying these comments made by someone from the Academy, it almost sounds like they’re the ones apologizing to him instead of the other way around. It’s a bizarre, surreal sight.
Hart told DeGeneres that he’s “evaluating this conversation” about whether to change his mind and host the show. As of this moment, the Oscars still don’t have a host — and the show airs on February 24.
Gallery — Every Oscar Best Picture Winner in History: