Kevin Hart opened up about the Oscars controversy in a new interview with Ellen DeGeneres.
Kevin Hart appeared on The Ellen Show earlier this week after stepping down from hosting The Oscars when old homophobic tweets resurfaced online.
Hart stepped down from hosting the awards show last month after derogatory tweets from 2009-2011 resurfaced.
The comedian opened up about the controversy and addressed the backlash, saying, “It’s 10 years old… I’ve apologized for it.”
He added, “I’ve yet to go back to that version of the immature comedian that once was. I moved on. I’m a grown man, I’m cultured,” he says. “I understand what those words do and how they hurt. I understand why people would be upset, which is why I made the choice to not use them anymore. I don’t joke like that anymore, because that was wrong.”
In the interview, DeGeneres claims she called the Academy to rehire Kevin Hart as host, saying, “I called them, 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. 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.'”
At another point she said, “As a gay person, I am sensitive to all of that and I talked to you about all of this and you’ve 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. Don’t let those people win. Host the Oscars.”
DeGeneres posted clips from the episode on Twitter Thursday, revealing that the episode had been slated to air Monday, but she decided to have the program run Friday instead.
Hart has not yet disclosed his decision on hosting.
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) January 4, 2019
She added, “I believe in forgiveness. I believe in second chances,” and, “However you feel about this, the only positive way through it is to talk about it.”
Watch clips from the episode above.