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(Photo by AP)

NEW YORK (AP) — Prodded by Ellen DeGeneres, comic Kevin Hart says he’ll reconsider his decision to step down as host of the Academy Awards.

Hart had backed away two days after being named host last month when some homophobic tweets he had made a decade ago resurfaced. But DeGeneres urged him to host the show during an interview that aired Friday on her talk show.

The motion picture Academy has not named a replacement host for its Feb. 24 awards show.

“You have grown,” DeGeneres told him. “You have apologized. You’re apologizing again right now. You’ve done it. Don’t let these people win. Host the Oscars.”

She applied subtle pressure by saying after one commercial break, “We’re back with this year’s Oscars host, Kevin Hart.”

Hart told her that “you have put a lot of things on my mind” and that he would think about their conversation.

If there’s a campaign to get him back, it couldn’t have started more slickly: on the hugely successful talk show run by one of Hollywood’s most prominent gay celebrities, who hosted the Oscars herself in 2007.

DeGeneres said she called the Academy this week to urge that Hart be brought back, and was told that officials would be “thrilled” if he did. An Academy representative did not immediately return a message for comment.

Hart told her that when his old messages resurfaced, “what was once the brightest light ever just got real dark.” He initially said he wouldn’t apologize because he had addressed the issue several times. But given an ultimatum to apologize, he did so and stepped down.

Hart said it was hard for him because he considered it an attack when his tweets resurfaced a day after he got the Oscars gig.

“That’s an attempt to end me,” he said. “That’s not an attack to just stop the Oscars … Somebody has to take a stand against the … trolls.”

DeGeneres received some resistance on social media, with some commenters saying that Hart’s homophobic jokes were a legitimate issue for discussion, and it wasn’t a case of people maliciously trying to hurt him.

She responded on Twitter: “I believe in forgiveness. I believe in second chances.”

The Oscars are looking for something to juice Hollywood’s biggest night, after the ceremony drew its smallest audience ever in 2018.

We Heart Kevin Hart!
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6 thoughts on “Kevin Hart Says He’s Considering Oscar Hosting Gig Again

  1. The Oscars needs Kevin more than Kevin needs the Oscars. I can guarantee the tv audience is going to drop lower this regardless of who hosts it. So, Kevin, get top dollars because nobody is going to be watching it anyway.

    As for Don Lemon, he wants everyone to kiss gays a$$es. He apologized. He don’t have to go waving the rainbow flag and do anything special for the LGBT community especially when he don’t do anything special for the black community.

  2. Don Lemon please STOP with the rhetoric. Kevin already stated his position clearly on Ellen. If he is homophobic that’s his business but he has said he has evolved.

  3. Black and UGLY, Kevin Hart just needs to go sit his HOMOPHOBIC ASS down somewhere.
    He does not DESERVE to host a damn Dog show!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Kevin the trolls are not going to stop……because that is what they live for (negativity). Some trolls are paid to post negative comments, and some are just straight up insecure, lonely, and love negativity. They need to get a life. According to Kevin one of his dreams early on was to host the Oscars so he should do it. People are going to have comments, and opinions no matter what he decides to do.

  5. Ted Gravely on said:

    Why? I felt like Kevin dodged a bullet. However, he’s made great career decisions to this point. If it benefits him, I guess. I won’t watch it, but wish him the best.

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