Kevin Hart appeared on The Ellen Show this week and spoke about the controversy behind hosting the Oscars after tweets from Kevin in 2010 were deemed homophobic.
The comedian-actor openly shared his thought process when making the decision to step down as the host of this year Acadamy Awards, saying, “‘I’m going to ignore it. I’m going to ignore it because it’s 10 years old. This is stuff I’ve addressed. I’ve talked about this. This isn’t new. I’ve addressed it! I’ve apologised for it. I’m not going to pay it any mind.’ Because [when] we feed into that stuff, you only add more fuel to the fire. ‘I’m going to leave it alone.’
Another day goes by, the fuel is now growing. This fire is angry. It’s all over the place. Now, the headlines are starting to change. The headlines are ‘Kevin Hart Refuses to Apologise for Homophobic Tweets From the Past.’ The word ‘Again’ was left out. Everybody took those headlines and started to run with it. So now, the slander on my name is all homophobia. Now, I’m a little upset. I’m a little upset because I know who I am.”
Kevin continued, “I know I don’t have a homophobic bone in my body. I know that I’ve addressed it. I know that I’ve apologised. I know that within my apologies I’ve taken 10 years to put my apology to work. I’ve yet to go back to that version of the immature version of the comedian that once was. I’ve moved on. I’m a grown man. I’m cultured. I’m manufactured. I’m a guy that understands now. I looked at life through a different lens, and because of that, I live it a different way.
So now, I’m kind of upset because these 10 years are just being ignored. They’re being brushed past. Nobody is saying, ‘Guys, this is 10 years.’ No headlines are saying, ’10 Years Ago, He Apologised.’ Nobody’s finding the apologies. Nobody is finding the footage from where I had to address it. I had to address it when I did Get Hard promo with Will Ferrell because of my joke that I had about my son; I had to address those tweets in 2012 in a very, very heavy junket where I was asked questions and asked questions about homophobia based on those tweets; and I had to address it and apologise and say I understand what those words do and how they hurt. I understand why people would be upset, which is why I made the choice to not use them anymore. I don’t joke like that anymore because that was wrong and I was stupid. I don’t do that anymore.”
Ellen DeGeneres then started talking to Kevin and explained that she wants him to host the Oscars, “I called The Academy today, because I really want you to host the Oscars. I was so excited when I heard that they asked you. I thought it was an amazing thing and how important it was and how it was a dream. So, I called them. I said, ‘Kevin’s on. I have no idea if he wants to come back and host, but what are your thoughts?’ And they were like, ‘Oh my, God! We want him to host.
We feel like maybe he misunderstood or it was handled wrong or maybe we said the wrong thing, but we want him to host.’ The Academy is saying, ‘What can we do to make this happen?’ And I’m saying to you, as one of the smartest people I know, one of the funniest people I know…what we’re going to get to see onstage with you hosting the Oscars is sophistication, class, hilarity and you growing as a person. Because most people would say, ‘I’m walking away. I’m not going back. I’m going to go back and forth.’ But for you to be the bigger man, for you to say, ‘I understand and I’m not going to pay attention?’ There are so many haters out there. Whatever is going on the internet, don’t pay attention to them. That’s a small group of people being very, very loud. We are a huge group of people who love you and want to see you host the Oscars.”
She ended it by saying, “Host the Oscars.” — which has caused outrage on social media with people saying, “he’s homophobic and Ellen supports homophobia,”.
To wrap up the conversation, Kevin promises Ellen that he will consider it, saying, “You have put a lot of things on my mind. I know where our relationship stands, so leaving here, I promise you I’m evaluating this conversation. This is a conversation I needed to have. I’m glad that I had it here, and I’m glad that it was as authentic and real as I could have hoped that it would be. Let me assess, just to sit in this space and really think… and you and I will talk before anything else.”