Kevin Hart has said he will “assess” reprising his role as the host of the 2019 Oscars, after Ellen DeGeneres revealed she called the Academy and vouched for him.
Hart stepped down from the role in December following a backlash over past homophobic tweets and comments, adding that he didn’t want to be a “distraction” during the awards ceremony.
However, during an hour-long interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Hart said he was reconsidering his decision to step down.
DeGeneres — herself an LGBT activist who came out as lesbian in 1997 — told the comedian that she had called the Academy on his behalf.
“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?’,” she said. “And they were like, ‘Oh my God, we want him to host! We feel like that maybe he misunderstood or it was handled wrong. Maybe we said the wrong thing but we want him to host. Whatever we can do we would be thrilled. And he should host the Oscars.'”
She earlier told Hart that she recognised that he was no longer “that guy” and that he had “grown” since his previous comments.
“You have grown, you have apologised, you are apologising again right now. You’re done it. Don’t let those people win — host the Oscars.”
Hart told DeGeneres that he would ‘evaluate’ whether or not he would host: “Leaving here, I promise you, I’m evaluating this conversation. This is a conversation I needed to have, I’m glad that I had it here, and I’m glad that it was as authentic and real as I could have hoped that it would be. So let me assess, just to sit in this space and really think, and you and I will talk before anything else.”
Posting a clip from their conversation, DeGeneres tweeted: “I believe in forgiveness. I believe in second chances. And I believe in Kevin Hart.”
The 2019 Oscars will take place on Monday 25th February 2019