No, Kevin Hart will not return to host the 91st Academy Awards. Despite his recent interview with Ellen DeGeneres, in which the daytime host went to bat for the comedian and pleaded he return, Hart, 39, revealed on Good Morning America he is definitely not going to host this year.
“I’m over it,” The Upside star told Michael Strahan multiple times on Wednesday, January 9. “There’s no more conversation about it … I’m over that, I’m over the moment.”
The Upside actor, 39, stepped down from the Oscars hosting duty in December after old homophobic comments of his resurfaced. In one 2011 tweet, he said that if his son played with a dollhouse, he would call the behavior “gay” and break the dollhouse over his son’s head. A year prior, he tweeted that Damien Dante Wayans’ profile pic looked like “a gay bill board [sic] for AIDS.”
Hart’s critics also cited his 2010 comedy special, Kevin Hart: Seriously Funny, in which he said, “Keep in mind, I’m not homophobic. … But me, as a heterosexual male, if I can prevent my son from being gay, I will.”
The comic initially dismissed the criticism, telling his detractors to “stop looking for reasons to be negative,” but eventually decided to withdraw his Oscars involvement. “I have made the choice to step down from hosting this year’s Oscar’s,” he tweeted on December 6. “This is because I do not want to be a distraction on a night that should be celebrated by so many amazing talented artists. I sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past.”
Hart elaborated on the scandal during an interview with DeGeneres that aired on her talk show on January 4. “Oscars was one of the highest of highs, simply because there hasn’t been a lot of African Americans that have been able to do it. I would have been the fourth,” he told DeGeneres, 60, who has emceed the ceremony twice herself.
“I know I don’t have a homophobic bone in my body,” he added. “I know that I’ve addressed it. I know that I’ve apologized. 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.”
DeGeneres urged Hart to reclaim the gig and said she had already called the Academy on his behalf. “As a gay person … I am sensitive to all of that,” she told him. “And I talked to you about this. And you have already expressed that it’s not being educated on the subject, not realizing how dangerous those words are, not realizing how many kids are killed for being gay or beaten up every day. You have grown. You have apologized. You are apologizing again right now. You’ve done it.”
The 91st Academy Awards will air on ABC on Sunday, February 24.
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