Kevin Hart was all set to host the 2019 Academy Awards, until he “made the choice” to unceremoniously step down after some past anti-gay tweets surfaced. “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 apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past,” he tweeted. The Oscars still don’t have a host, but Ellen DeGeneres, one of the most prominent gay celebrities out there today, hopes that Hart will re-consider.
During Friday’s episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, the host reveals that she called up the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and asked for Hart to be reinstated as host. “I called the Academy today, because I really want you to host the Oscars. I was so excited when I heard that they asked you. I thought it was an amazing thing and how important it was and how it was a dream,” DeGeneres said. “So, I called them. I said, ‘Kevin’s on. I have no idea if he wants to come back and host, but what are your thoughts?’ And they were like, ‘Oh my, God! 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.’ The Academy is saying, what can we do to make this happen?”
DeGeneres called Hart “one of the smartest people I know,” told him to avoid the “haters” (it always comes back to the haters), and noted that there’s “a huge group of people who love you and want to see you host the Oscars.” After apologizing again, the Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle star went after the people who found his old tweets. “This wasn’t an accident. This wasn’t a coincidence. It wasn’t a coincidence that the day after I received the job that tweets just somehow manifested from 2008,” he said. “To go through 40,000 tweets to get back to 2008? That’s an attack. That’s a malicious attack on my character. That’s an attack to end me. That’s not an attack to just stop the Oscars. This is what I want people to understand: That’s an attack to end me.”
DeGeneres’ decision to side with Hart — who tweeted things like, “Yo if my son comes home & try’s 2 play with my daughters doll house I’m going 2 break it over his head & say n my voice ‘stop that’s gay’,” and compared a user’s profile pic to “a gay bill board for AIDS” — has led to an online backlash.