Kevin Hart: ‘Would I Ever Do It Again?’
Kevin Hart insisted he would not host the Oscars in an exclusive interview with Variety just hours before the comedian seemed to reopen the door to emcee the telecast during an appearance on Ellen DeGeneres’ talk show The Ellen Degeneres Show, according to a report by Kristopher Tapley of the above mentioned magazine.
“Would I ever do it? No, it’s done. It’s done,” Kevin Hart said. “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.”
Later that day, Kevin Hart’s stance appeared to soften. In a conversation with DeGeneres, Hart revealed he was reconsidering his decision last month to step down as host after controversy erupted over the comic’s past homophobic tweets and jokes. He had a sympathetic ear in DeGeneres. The talk show icon — a two-time Oscars host herself — revealed she had called the Motion Picture Academy to lobby for Hart’s return to the post.
It’s been an eventful month for Kevin Hart. The comedian has a new film on the way and is fresh off a stand-up tour in Australia that broke records, but those haven’t been the headlines for him. When the 39-year-old star of The Upside was tapped to host the 91st Oscars last month, his hire prompted fierce backlash from the LGBTQ community. After first refusing to apologize for the material, he eventually did so while stepping down from the position. Kevin Hart was emphatic with Variety‘s Playback podcast that the door to the Oscars was closed.
“When I go on that stage, it will be because I’ve somehow figured out a way to win the Oscar,” Kevin Hart said. “Somehow I’ll get to the stage but it’s not going to be in this way because it just comes with such a weird cloud at this point.”
Kevin Hart added, “There’s no ill will toward the Academy.”
During the 40-minute Playback conversation, Kevin Hart was still rather defiant in the face of the ongoing criticism, much as he was in a pair of Instagram videos he recorded while in Australia during the initial dust-up. He blasted internet “trolls” for digging into the past and refusing to accept that he’s changed and grown as a person since delivering some of that material, which he admitted was immature and part and parcel of a smaller world view than the one he has today.
“You’re living in times where words and points of view can be misconstrued because of how strong the internet is,” Kevin Hart said. “The manipulation of headlines is what was amazing when this whole thing hit. It was, ‘Kevin Hart steps down because he refuses to apologize for homophobic tweets.’ This was what was said and it was blasted all over the internet, and the word ‘again’ somehow got lost, which was a major word. I’ve addressed this several times.”
As on DeGeneres’ show, Kevin Hart maintained that he had not only addressed these missteps in the past (such as breaking down one particular joke from his 2010 Seriously Funny special in a 2015 Rolling Stone interview), but that he had also apologized. However, many have searched in vain for that previous mea culpa.