Ellen DeGeneres wants Kevin Hart to be reinstated as the host of the 2019 Academy Awards amidst controversy surrounding homophobic tweets and jokes he made ten years ago.
Hart appeared on an early showing of The Ellen DeGeneres Show to address the issue once more, and the host revealed that she called up the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and asked them personally if he could host the Oscars.
In December, just two days after the comedian was awarded the role, he stepped down after anti-LGBT+ tweets from between 2009 and 2011 were unearthed.
He did not initially apologise, he said, because he’d already 'addressed' them twice over the last decade.
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 apologise 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.
Appearing on the show, he apologised once more, and claimed that people had deliberately engaged in character assassination.
When it happened, my first thought is, 'I’m gonna ignore it. It’s 10 years old. This is stuff I’ve addressed. I’ve apologised for it.'
I know who I am. I don’t have a homophobic bone in my body. I’ve apologised. Within my apologies, I’ve yet to go back to the immature comedian that was. I’ve moved on.
"I understand why people are upset. I don’t do that anymore," he added.
He also accused people who had brought forth the old tweets of a "malicious attack on his character".
Ellen responded by saying, as a "gay person", she had been "sensitive" to his homophobic comments and that she accepted his apology.
You’ve already expressed that it’s not being educated on the subject, not realising how dangerous those words are, not realising how many kids are killed for being gay or beaten up every day.
You have grown, you have apologised, you are apologising again right now. You’ve done it.
Host the Oscars.
The interview, which Ellen released earlier than anticipated because she wanted people to see it, was received with mixed applause.
Some thought Kevin’s apology was disingenuous.
...and said though he 'addressed' the issue in the past, his apology hadn't been enough.
Others disagreed with the Hart’s critics and doubled down on his defence.
While there were those who said DeGeneres' endorsement of Hart was cherry-picking.
Ellen later used the hashtag #OscarsNeedHart to share clips of the interview on her Twitter page.
The subject is a thorny one, and it is yet unclear whether or not Hart will be reinstated, and what that means.