Kevin Hart infamously stepped down from the opportunity to host the 2019 Oscars following unearthed homophobic slurs.
Now he has received support from fellow comedian Ellen DeGeneres... And there has been huge backlash.
DeGeneres revealed not only does her fellow comedian have her full support after he stepped down in the wake of controversy over his past homophobic tweets, but she is also actively campaigning to have him host this year’s Academy Awards.
“I called [The Academy], I said, ‘Kevin’s on, I have no idea if he wants to come back and host, but what are your thoughts?’ And they were like, ‘Oh my God, we want him to host. We feel like that maybe he misunderstood or it was handled wrong or maybe we said the wrong thing but we want him to host. Whatever we can do we would be thrilled. And he should host the Oscars,’” DeGeneres host told Hart.
DeGeneres’ actions and Hart’s apology got a divided response on Twitter, with many members of the LGBTQ community voicing their disapproval, while others commended the pair.
Prominent activist Deray was among the many to disavow the interview and DeGeneres’ support.
“I expected Ellen to actually ask Kevin Hart some sort of challenging question. Anything, really,” he wrote. “But instead, it was just one long monologue from Kevin interspersed with Ellen’s approval. That interview made me miss the previous talk show hosts that asked tough questions.”
Phillip Picardi, the editor-in-chief for Out Magazine, posted a multi-tweet thread on Friday morning about what he perceives are the dangers of DeGeneres’ actions.
“This is truly a serious misstep for you Ellen. He might be your friend and maybe that’s clouding your judgement a bit. He’s not sorry and hasn’t apologised. Even here,” Declan Cashin, a British journalist, replied to her tweet promoting the interview.
Louis Virtel, a cohost of the Crooked Media podcast Keep It, kept the focus on Hart, tweeting, “I feel like if you’re not homophobic anymore, you shouldn’t mind apologizing for your past homophobia again and again and again.”
Piers Morgan also weighed in, saying supporting Hart was “very big” of DeGeneres.
And journalist Katie Herzog offered her support to the host, calling out DeGeneres’ critics for “dragging her for having Kevin Hart on her talk show.”