NEW YORK – Encouraged by Ellen DeGeneres, Kevin Hart says he will reconsider his decision to retire as host of the Academy Awards.
The comedian backed down two days after being named master of ceremonies for the Oscars last month, when some homophobic tweets he made a decade ago reemerged. But DeGeneres exhorted him to present the gala in his talk show, in an interview that aired on Friday.
The Academy of Cinematographic Arts and Sciences has not named a new host for the gala on February 24.
“You’ve grown,” DeGeneres told Hart. “You have apologized. You are apologizing now again. They have done. Do not let these people win. Present the Oscars. ”
He pressed a little more saying when returning from a commercial cuts: “We are back with the host of this year’s Oscars, Kevin Hart.”
Hart told DeGeneres that he has “put a lot of things on his head” and that he would think about their conversation.
If this is a campaign to bring him back, he could not have started more shrewdly: in a hugely successful talk show hosted by one of the most prominent gay celebrities in Hollywood who hosted the Oscars in 2007.
DeGeneres said he called the Academy this week to urge them to bring Hart back, and that he was told that managers would be “delighted” if he accepted. A representative of the Academy did not immediately respond to a message seeking information.
Hart told DeGeneres that when his old messages reemerged, “what was once the brightest light turned into something really dark.” Initially he said he would not apologize because he had addressed the issue several times. However, upon receiving an ultimatum, he apologized and withdrew.
Hart said it was a difficult situation for him because when his tweets reappeared the day after he announced his participation in the Oscars he considered it an attack.
“That was an attempt to destroy me,” he said. “That was not an attack just to stop the Oscars … Someone has to pronounce against the … trolls.”
DeGeneres received some resistance in social networks, where some expressed that Hart’s homophobic jokes were a legitimate topic of discussion, not a case of malice to hurt him.
The humorist replied on Twitter: “I believe in forgiveness. I believe in second chances. ”
The Oscars are looking for something to bring to life the most important night of the year in Hollywood, after the ceremony attracted its youngest registered audience in 2018.