Actor and comedian Kevin Hart said he will assess whether to return as host of the Academy Awards after Ellen DeGeneres revealed The Oscars wants him back. The news comes a month after Hart stepped down as host after tweets of homophobic comments he made years ago resurfaced.
During a taping of her show set to air Friday, DeGeneres, who is gay, told Hart that she went to bat for him and asked The Oscars to reinstall him as host. DeGeneres told her followers that the interview was set to air next Monday, but that she felt that what they discussed was too important to wait.
Hart was named Oscars host on Dec. 4. By the next day, the old tweets started making the rounds on social media.
Hart has since deleted some of the anti-gay tweets, mostly dated from 2009-2011. But they had already been screen-captured and shared online. In 2011, he wrote in a since-deleted tweet: "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."
As he was pressured to apologize, Hart stood his ground and said he had already apologized in the past. But two days after he was named host, he stepped down.
"I sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past," he tweeted.
In clips posted to DeGeneres' website and Twitter, Hart told her that continuing to address it would have just added fuel to the fire and would have turned him into a distraction on Hollywood's biggest night.
Hart called the use of the tweets an attack on him, pointing out that someone would have to go through some 40,000 of his tweets to find the offensive comments.
"That's a malicious attack on my character. That's an attack to end me," Hart said.
He also appeared to indicate that returning to host would re-launch the controversy.
"But they're going to win if you don't host the Oscars," DeGeneres said.
DeGeneres said she believed the reason the Oscars had not yet named a replacement was in the hopes Hart would reconsider. Hart said after hearing what DeGeneres said, he would evaluate whether he should return.