Hart was the talk show queen’s guest for her Friday show and in a sneak peek of the episode, DeGeneres revealed she reached out to the Academy on Hart’s behalf in an effort to get him back on the show.
The “Upside” star began the interview with a lengthy interpretation of the events that led to him stepping down as host.
“This wasn’t an accident. This wasn’t a coincidence. It wasn’t a coincidence that the day after I received the job, tweets somehow manifested from 2008,” Hart said.
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) January 4, 2019
Ellen DeGeneres let Kevin Hart speak his mind before chiming in with her thoughts.
“I called [The Academy],” DeGeneres revealed. “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.”
Ellen’s position was not well-received by on Twitter, with many people tweeting their disappointment with her for her choice to support Hart.
I feel like if you’re not homophobic anymore, you shouldn’t mind apologizing for your past homophobia again and again and again. I don’t want to hear a hostile retelling of how we didn’t hear your meager apology the first time.
— Louis Virtel (@louisvirtel) January 4, 2019
@andylassner Wow, #Ellen, very disappointed. I was really hoping this was a rumour. After all these years and after all the good you've done, you choose to support someone so blatantly homophobic it's scary. #EllenDeGeneres #KevinHart
— Jared (@jared_dias) January 4, 2019
I expected Ellen to actually ask Kevin Hart some sort of challenging question. Anything, really. 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.
— deray (@deray) January 4, 2019
this whole ellen/kevin hart thing is a perfect example of how privilege and constant praise distorts a person’s reality so much that they perceive any criticism, however valid, to be an attack on their entire livelihood
— ellie (@eleanorbate) January 4, 2019
Thrilled to hear that Ellen has decided we are all fine with Kevin Hart
— Bec Shaw (@Brocklesnitch) January 4, 2019
Ellen’s show is basically the embodiment of respectability politics, so using it as a platform to absolve Kevin Hart on our behalf sounds pretty much on brand. Her sitcom allowed her to do something radical, which she suffered for, & she’s been running away from that ever since.
— Laurence "Laura Dern" Barber (@bortlb) January 4, 2019
I love that Ellen has decided for all queer men that we’re actually okay with what Kevin Hart said because she knows him personally and he’s nice.
— Happy Houlidays (@RyanHoulihan) January 4, 2019
Also, Kevin Hart's thesis in this Ellen interview is, "People ruined my fun and I got upset people ruined my fun and I might have behaved better except people ruined MY FUN on a day that was supposed to be about me." And this is the MATURE version of Kevin Hart.
— Daniel Fienberg (@TheFienPrint) January 4, 2019