Kevin Hart is reconsidering his decision to quit hosting the 2019 Academy Awards in February. Hart pulled out in December after the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences asked him to apologize for anti-ghey tweets he wrote 10 years ago.
During an appearance on the “Ellen DeGeneres Show” taped on Thursday, Hart said he is considering returning to his hosting duties.
In a since-deleted Instagram post dated 2011, Hart wrote: “Yo if my son comes home & try’s 2 play with my daughters doll house I’m going 2 break it over his head & say n my voice ‘stop that’s gay.'”
In an Instagram post in December, Hart said he declined the Academy’s option to apologize since he had already apologized several times in the past.
Hart told DeGeneres his initial reaction to the backlash was to ignore it.
“I’m a little upset because I know who I am. I know I don’t have a homophobic bone in my body,” he told DeGeneres. “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.”
DeGeneres said she called and spoke with Academy bosses to put in a good word for Hart. She said the Academy was open to his return.
“I called the Academy today because I really want you to host the Oscars,” she told the comedian. “I was so exited when I heard that they asked you. I thought it was an amazing thing.”
Hart told DeGeneres he would evaluate their conversation before he makes a decision.
DeGeneres was criticized on social media on Thursday for defending Hart and telling him she believed he was the victim of a malicious attempt to derail his career.
“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.”
One Twitter user wrote: “Ellen giving homophobes the ability to say ‘but Ellen said it’s okay’ is a massive f*cking betrayal.”
Another user tweeted, “The only thing @KevinHart4real proved by going on Ellen was that he is a terrible actor with zero genuine remorse who didn’t have the decency to address his ignorance.”
In an Instagram post late Thursday, Hart wrote, “This was by far the most raw/honest & authentic interview that I have ever done.”
The Ellen DeGeneres Show featuring Hart will air on Friday, Jan. 4.
Photos by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images, Michael Rozman/Warner Bros.