And the new host of the Oscars is …. Kevin Hart, maybe?
A little more than a month after the comedian was named Oscars host, only to step down less than 24 hours later, after 10-year-old homophobic Tweets came to light, he apparently is re-evaluating his decision.
Former two-time Oscars host Ellen DeGeneres, possibly the most “out’ celebrity in the LGBTQ community, is trying to return Hart to the Oscars stage. She is, however, getting a lot of heat on social media for her defense of Hart, with many people calling it a betrayal.
The Academy has yet to announce a replacement for the alleged “worst gig in show business.’ And Hart’s departure over 10-year-old remarks that he says he’s already apologized for has apparently put a chill on the search for a new host.
A prop bet offered by several sportsbooks that has come and gone, offered up alternatives including DeGeneres, Jimmy Kimmel, Tiffany Haddish and “no host.’ You can, however, at those same sportsbooks, including BetOnline, Bet365, Bovada and MyBookie, place bets on which movie and actors will take home this Academy Awards. “A Star is Born,” “Roma” and “Black Panther” are among the movies in contention.
On her talk show airing Friday (today), DeGeneres tells Hart that she called the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences asking them to reconsider having him host the awards show, that happens on February 24.
She says the Academy (she doesn’t mention who she spoke with), told her “We want him to host … it was handled wrong. … What can we do to make this happen?’
Hart appeared on the talk show as part of this press tour for his new movie “The Upside,’ where he stars as a caregiver for a disabled man played by Bryan Cranston.
The interview, taped Thursday, was supposed to air Monday, but she Tweeted Thursday night that she couldn’t wait for her audience to see it, so it is airing today (check your local listings).
In the interview, which consumes most of the hour, Degeneres and Hart rehash the less-than-24-hour timeline which gave the comedian his dream job that he calls “the highest of highs’ to him stepping down after the Academy gave him the ultimatum – apologize for the homophobic comments or you’re out as host.
Hart explained that he learned from his mistakes and previously apologized for the Tweets and jokes and that “I’m a grown man, I am cultured. I look at life through a different lens. I live my life in a different way. I don’t joke like that anymore.’
He said he felt attacked by internet critics that he says dug up the decade-old Tweets, with the goal of destroying his career.
“Someone has to take a stand against the trolls,’ he tells DeGeneres.
Her response, “Yeah, but they’re going to win if you don’t host the Oscars’ received thunderous applause from her audience.
“What we’re going to get to see on stage with you hosting the Oscars is sophistication, class, hilarity and you growing as a person,’ she said. “Because most people would say, ‘I’m walking away … ‘ For you to be the bigger man, for you to say I understand …and to not pay attention. There are so many haters out there. Whatever is going on in 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 how the Oscars.’
At then end of the program, Hart said, “Leaving here I promise you I’m evaluating this conversation. … This is a conversation I needed to have, I’m glad I had it here. I’m glad it’s as authentic and real as I could’ve hoped it would be.’
So, the second host of the 91st Oscars could be the same as the first.