Ellen DeGeneres Wants Kevin Hart to Host the Oscars Still

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Kevin Hart is Ellen Degeneres‘ guest for the full hour of her talk show on Friday, and in preview clips released early Friday morning the comedian talks in depth about the controversy around his old homophobic tweets that forced him to step down as host of the 2019 Academy Awards. DeGeneres also voices her support for Hart and reveals that she called the Academy to try to get him reinstated as host.

DeGeneres shared the first clip on her Twitter account, captioning it “I believe in forgiveness. I believe in second chances. And I believe in @KevinHart4real.” In the clip, Hart says that he apologized for the offensive tweets years ago while promoting the movie Get Hard and that he doesn’t use language like that anymore, and that he chose to step down as host rather than apologize again because he didn’t want his presence to make the Oscars about him and his past and take the focus away from the people being rewarded for their hard work.

In the next clip, DeGeneres — who has herself hosted the Oscars — says that she called the Academy to say that she would support reinstating Hart as host.

“They were like, ‘Oh my God. We want him to host,'” DeGeneres says she was told about Hart. “‘We feel like maybe he misunderstood or it was handled wrong or maybe we said the wrong thing but we want him to host. Whatever we can do, we would be thrilled. We want him to host the Oscars.'” TV Guide has reached out the Academy to confirm that this conversation happened as DeGeneres said it happened.

She says that she suspects the reason the Academy hasn’t found another host is because they were “secretly hoping” that Hart would come back.

Later in the clip, Hart says that he’s “evaluating this conversation,” neither confirming nor denying that he would be interested in returning as Oscars host.

The full interview will on The Ellen DeGeneres Show this afternoon. Check your local listings.

The Oscars will air Sunday, Feb. 24 at 8/7c on ABC.

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