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A New Twist in the Oscars Hosting Drama?

Ellen DeGeneres told Kevin Hart the Academy wants him
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 4, 2019 6:39 AM CST
In this Dec. 11, 2017, file photo, Kevin Hart arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle" in Los Angeles.   (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

(Newser) – He got a gig "nobody was trying to score," and then he just as swiftly lost it. Now, nearly a month after Kevin Hart stepped down from hosting the Oscars after past homophobic tweets surfaced, the 39-year-old comedian may be reconsidering his decision. Variety reports Hart revealed this to Ellen DeGeneres during an interview set to air Friday, and it was DeGeneres, a member of the LGBT community herself, who said she went to bat for Hart in a phone call she says she placed to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. "As a gay person ... I am sensitive to all of that," she said during their chat of why people were upset about his tweets, per People. But she said she wanted Hart to host, saying he had "grown" and that he shouldn't let a "small," "very, very loud" group of "haters" ruin his chances at what he'd once described as the "opportunity of a lifetime."

What got Hart into hot water besides the tweets themselves, which reached back to at least 2011 and included homophobic slurs, was that he didn't initially apologize. That led the Academy to reportedly issue an ultimatum for one; he declined and stepped down (he did later apologize). DeGeneres says when she talked to the unidentified Academy folks, they admitted they may have bungled the situation and want him to host. For his part, Hart is now reassessing. "I promise you I'm evaluating this conversation," he told her, once again saying he was sorry for it all but noting that "to go back through 40,000 tweets to get back to 2008 that’s an attack." This year's Oscars producers have so far remained mum on their plans for the Feb. 24 show, per Deadline. (The Academy is said to have mulled not having an Oscars host at all.)

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