Ellen DeGeneres faces backlash for 'defending' Kevin Hart following homophobia furore

Daniel Zuchnik  Getty Images

Daniel Zuchnik Getty Images

In an interview with Ellen DeGeneres set to air Friday, the host said she reached out to the Academy on Hart's behalf.

"And I believe in Ellen", another social media user tweeted. Hart did not apologize during or after the Oscar debacle, or on Ellen (or in the 2015 interview with Ferrell).

Hart doubled down on saying that those who dug up the tweets were attacking his character and trying to "end" him. "Whatever we can do we would be thrilled, '" she told Mr. Hart. However, old "homophobic" tweets resurfaced and the comedian faced a torrent of backlash for what was seen as offensive jokes.

"I was very disappointed when I learned about all these homophobic slurs that he had made, especially as a black man, as a person of color", Hostin explained. "I don't want to step on that stage and make that night about me and my past".

The Academy has not named a new host in the month since Hart stepped down.

The Night School star initially refused to say sorry for past jokes made on his Twitter account because he had done so years ago, and chose to step down from his role hosting the Academy Awards in February - but it is said that he could be brought back for the role.

Ellen, who has hosted the Oscars ceremony twice (in 2007 and then in 2014), also told Kevin Hart that she spoke to the Academy to re-hire him for the host's job, which is still vacant.




The Night School star initially said he would not apologize for previous comments he had made. Hart ultimately promised DeGeneres he'd mull it over.

"I know you're not that guy, cause I know you", agreed DeGeneres.

"Once again, I'm sorry if these words hurt". DeGeneres faces scrutiny for being too lenient with a friend and using her own status as a famous and powerful gay person to let his previous comments go. You've already expressed that it's not being educated on the subject, not realizing how unsafe those words are, not realizing how many kids are killed for being gay or beaten up every day...

"You have grown, you have apologised, you are apologising again right now. And I'm glad that it was as authentic and real as I could have hoped that it would be", he said.

"Leaving here I promise you I'm evaluating this conversation", Hart told DeGeneres. But DeGeneres countered that if he doesn't host, "they're gonna win".

The 91st Academy Awards will air live from Los Angeles on February 24.at 8 p.m. ET. Hart was still tightlipped on his possible reinstatement, but revealed that he will "assess, just to sit in this space and really think, and you and I will talk before anything else".

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