After talk with Ellen DeGeneres, Kevin Hart says he’s considering Oscar hosting gig again

By DAVID BAUDER | The Associated Press

NEW YORK  — Prodded by Ellen DeGeneres, comic Kevin Hart says
he’ll reconsider his decision to step down as host of the Academy
Awards.

Hart had backed away two days after being named host last month
when some homophobic tweets he had made a decade ago resurfaced.
But DeGeneres urged him to host the show during an interview that
aired Friday on her talk show.

The motion picture Academy has not named a replacement host for
its Feb. 24 awards show.

“You have grown,” DeGeneres told him. “You have
apologized. You’re apologizing again right now. You’ve done it.
Don’t let these people win. Host the Oscars.”

She applied subtle pressure by saying after one commercial
break, “We’re back with this year’s Oscars host, Kevin
Hart.”

Hart told her that “you have put a lot of things on my mind”
and that he would think about their conversation.

If there’s a campaign to get him back, it couldn’t have
started more slickly: on the hugely successful talk show run by one
of Hollywood’s most prominent gay celebrities, who hosted the
Oscars herself in 2007.

DeGeneres said she called the Academy this week to urge that
Hart be brought back, and was told that officials would be
“thrilled” if he did. An Academy representative did not
immediately return a message for comment.

Hart told her that when his old messages resurfaced, “what was
once the brightest light ever just got real dark.” He initially
said he wouldn’t apologize because he had addressed the issue
several times. But given an ultimatum to apologize, he did so and
stepped down.

Hart said it was hard for him because he considered it an attack
when his tweets resurfaced a day after he got the Oscars gig.

“That’s an attempt to end me,” he said. “That’s not an
attack to just stop the Oscars … Somebody has to take a stand
against the … trolls.”

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DeGeneres received some resistance on social media, with some
commenters saying that Hart’s homophobic jokes were a legitimate
issue for discussion, and it wasn’t a case of people maliciously
trying to hurt him.

She responded on Twitter: “I believe in forgiveness. I believe
in second chances.”

The Oscars are looking for something to juice Hollywood’s
biggest night, after the ceremony drew its smallest audience ever
in 2018.

Source: FS – All – Entertainment – News 2
After talk with Ellen DeGeneres, Kevin Hart says he’s considering Oscar hosting gig again