Shortly after being named the 2019 Oscars host, old, homophobic tweets from Kevin Hart’s past were unearthed. Hart was presented with an ultimatum by The Academy: either apologize for the tweets or give up his hosting duties. Hart ultimately opted to apologize and step down from his post, saying he didn’t want to detract attention from the Oscar nominees.
However, less than a month after the Twitter controversy unfolded, it appears Hart may just end up hosting the 91st Academy Awards after all.
Hart is now “evaluating” a return to his hosting gig at the urging of Ellen DeGeneres. In a lengthy, new interview on her daytime TV show, DeGeneres not only pleaded that Hart reconsider his decision, but she revealed that she’d spoken to The Academy and they, too, want him back.
“They were like, ‘Oh my God, we want him to host,'” recounted DeGeneres, who is openly gay and has hosted the Oscars twice in the past. “The Academy is saying, ‘What can we do to make this happen?'” she said.
Throughout the interview, Hart expressed remorse over his offensive tweets, but noted that the backlash against him remains strong. Still, DeGeneres pressed on and said he should tune out his “haters.” “Don’t pay attention to them,” she said. “They are a small group of people who are very, very loud. We are a huge group of people who love you and want you to host the Oscars.”
“Don’t let those people win, host the Oscars,” DeGeneres insisted. “Thats why they [The Academy] haven’t found another host, because they are secretly hoping that you would come back.” Over on social media, DeGeneres has also expressed her support for Hart. “I believe in forgiveness. I believe in second chances,” she wrote on Twitter today.
Her encouragements, as well as the supposed backing from The Academy, appear to have left an impression on Hart, as he’s now re-thinking his decision. “Leaving here, I promise you I’m evaluating this conversation,” the 39-year-old comedian told DeGeneres. “Let me assess, just sit in the space and really think.”
Watch clips of the interview below. The 91st Academy Awards go down Sunday, February 24th. As DeGeneres has pointed out, The Academy has yet to fill the Oscars host position.