AceShowbiz - Kevin Hart has opened up about the controversy surrounding his Oscars hosting gig after his old homophobic and transphobic comments resurfaced online. Appearing in the Friday, January 5 episode of "The Ellen DeGeneres Show", the comedian called the backlash a "malicious attack."
"It was on my vision board. It would be the highest of highs, because there hasn't been a lot of African-American comedians that have gotten to do it. I would've been the fourth," he said of his initial excitement. "So, to get the moment, celebrate the moment, oh my god I can't believe it's happening, and then the next morning, after a day of congratulations and celebrations, I'm hit with an onslaught on social media of my past coming back up again."
Kevin said that he initially ignored it because he had addressed the issue multiple times and apologized for it, but the headlines only went wilder and accused him of refusing to apologize. "The headlines are, 'Kevin Hart refuses to apologize for homophobic tweets from the past.' The word 'again' was left out. Everyone took those headlines and started to run with it. So now the slander on my name is all over. Now I'm a little upset," he said.
Insisting that he's a changed man now, the 39-year-old actor eventually decided to step down as the Oscars host, because he didn't "want to step on that stage and make that night about me and my past when you have people who have worked hard to step on that stage for the first time and receive an award."
Kevin said he chose to apologize again for his old homophobic jokes, adding that nobody is perfect. "Once again, I'm sorry these words hurt. I'm sorry! But either my apology is accepted or it isn't," he said. "Either I can move forward or I can't, but you can't grow as a person without mistakes. You don't know what perfection is unless you've experienced imperfection."
Host Ellen DeGeneres told Kevin that she personally called the Academy to let them know she would support reinstating Kevin as the host. "I really want you to host the Oscars," the former Oscars host said. "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.' "
Hinting that he's reconsidering to host the Oscars, Kevin responded to Ellen's support, "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."
Kevin appeared to have softened his stance after previously saying he's done with the Oscars. In an interview with Variety conducted before he taped his appearance on "Ellen", he said, "Would I ever do it? No, it's done. It's done. The moment came and it was a blessing and I was excited at the opportunity and I still am. In my mind I got the job, it was a dream job, and things came up that simply prohibited it from happening. But I don't believe in going backwards."
The Academy itself has not announced Kevin's replacement. An insider allegedly told Variety that leaders at the organization are open to having the "Night School" star back to host the show. According to the site, "leadership at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and ABC, the network that broadcasts the telecast, are open to Hart resuming his role as emcee if he signals that he wants the job."
Meanwhile, Ellen has been slammed after a sneak peek of her interview with Kevin was released online. Some social media users called her a betrayer for forgiving the actor and calling the LGBTQ community "haters."