Kevin Hart appears to have gained a major supporter in talk show host Ellen DeGeneres. During a taping that aired on Friday, DeGeneres pushed for the comedian to reconsider hosting the Oscars. Hart backed down from the role just two days after being named the host after homophobic tweets that were close to a decade old resurfaced.

“You have grown,” DeGeneres said during the show. “You have apologized. You’re apologizing again right now. You’ve done it. Don’t let these people win. Host the Oscars.” She even went so far as saying, “we’re back with this year’s Oscars host, Kevin Hart,” after a commercial break.


DeGeneres, one of the most prominent gay celebrities and host of the 2007 Oscars, appeared to have some sway on Hart. He said, “you have put a lot of things on my mind,” and that he’d reconsider his decision.

The LGBTQ watchdog group GLAAD said on Friday that they hoped Hart wouldn’t step down and instead would use the situation as an opportunity to “send an unequivocal message of acceptance to LGBTQ youth.”

Even the Academy seems to be behind the comeback. DeGeneres claimed that she had called them to urge that Hart return to host the show and that the officials seemed to be “thrilled” at the idea.

Hart wrote most of his homophobic remarks on Twitter between 2009 and 2011. One read: “Yo if my son comes home & try’s 2 play with my daughters doll house I’m going 2 break it over his head & say n my voice ‘stop that’s gay.'” It was later deleted. His standup was also riddled with homophobic remarks in the past.

Though DeGeneres and GLAAD are behind Hart’s return, others have argued against it. Columnist Caroline Framke wrote, “If he gets the job back, it won’t be because he’s convinced his detractors that he actually cares about gay people. It’ll be because he spun a story about vicious trolls going after him for no good reason. It might be a compelling enough angle to convince DeGeneres and her audience, but even if it manages to sway the Academy, it still won’t actually be true.”

The 2018 Oscars drew its smallest audience ever. This year’s award show will take place on February 24.

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