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January 04, 2019

Ellen DeGeneres campaigns for Kevin Hart to return as Oscars host in new interview

'I believe in Kevin Hart,' DeGeneres says

Kevin Hart Ellen DeGeneres
kevin hart ellen interview TheEllenShow/YouTube

Kevin Hart talks about his lost Oscars hosting gig on 'The Ellen Degeneres Show.' Degeneres is pushing for Hart to return as host after he stepped down following controversy surrounding the comedian's homophobic tweets that were posted between 2008 to 2011.

Kevin Hart has an ally in Ellen DeGeneres in the wake of the Philadelphia comedian's fast rise and fall as 2019 Academy Awards host following the resurfacing of several of Hart's old, homophobic tweets.

RELATED: Despite Oscars drama, Kevin Hart ranks second highest-paid comedian of 2018 | Here are 4 movies shot in Philly coming to theaters in 2019

Hart spoke with DeGeneres on Thursday for a taping of "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" originally scheduled to air Monday. After the taping, DeGeneres announced she would drop the interview a few days early, saying, "It was supposed to air on Monday. I don’t want you to have to wait, so now it’s gonna air tomorrow."

DeGeneres posted a clip on Twitter early Friday, showing the pair on set discussing how Hart landed the job as Oscars host after seeking insight from DeGeneres, who hosted the awards show in 2014. Hart shared his side of the controversy, saying he initially planned to ignore the backlash and cited previous public apologies for the same tweets.

"I've taken 10 years to put my apology to work," he said. 

"I have yet to go back to that version of the immature 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 look at life through a different lens, and because of that, I live it a different way."

When given the choice to apologize or step down from hosting, he said, "I didn't want to get on that stage and make the night about me and my past." 

He makes his full statement in the clip below.

DeGeneres' response? Hart should still host the Oscars anyway. She even revealed she called the Academy to convince them to re-hire him. Her full response was posted to Ellentube.

"There are so many haters out there," DeGeneres said. "Whatever's going on 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."

Hart likened the rediscovery of the tweets to an attack on him.

"This was to destroy me," he said. 

"This was to end all partnerships, all brand relationships, all investment opportunities, studio relationships, my production company, the people that work underneath me. This was to damage the lives that had been invested in me."

DeGeneres said the "trolls" win if he doesn't host. "Who knows who this person is, and who cares?"

"Leaving here, I'm promising you, I'm evaluating this conversation," Hart said toward the end of the interview.

Twitter has been bustling with reactions to the dropped interview, many criticizing Hart's remarks and DeGeneres' approval, while others are also hoping for a Hart comeback.

Hart is reportedly now reconsidering the situation and whether he should indeed host the award ceremony. The Oscars, with will take place Feb. 24, 2019, still have no host.

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