During the controversial interview, Ellen tells the world that she wants Kevin Hart to host the Academy Awards in 2019. You can watch the full interview when it airs on “The Ellen Show” NBC affiliates across the country on Friday, January 4. The showtimes vary between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. across the country, you can check your local affiliate timeslot here.
Here’s what you need to know about the controversial interview:
Ellen Says She Believes in Giving Hart a Second Chance
In posting clips of the interview on social media on January 3, Ellen wrote on her Facebook page, “I believe in forgiveness. I believe in second chances. And I believe in Kevin Hart.” When Ellen introduced Hart, she referred to him as the host of the 2019 Oscars.
Ellen Says She Called the Academy to Vouch for Hart
Ellen told Hart during the interview that she had called the Academy to vouch for Hart returning as host. Ellen herself hosted the awards ceremony in 2007 and 2014. In December 2018, Hart resigned his role as host shortly after he was announced following the unearthing of homophobic tweets the comedian had written. You can read the tweets here.
Ellen says, “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 was can do we would be thrilled. And he should host the Oscars.” Ellen also said, “What we’re going to get to see onstage with you hosting the Oscars is sophistication, class, hilarity, and you growing as a person.”
Hart Said that Those Who Discovered the Tweets Had Acted ‘Maliciously’
Ellen added that she believed Hart has apologized for his words and that he shouldn’t, “Don’t let those people win- host the Oscars.” Hart described those who discovered the tweeted as performing a “malicious attack on [his] character. That’s an attack to end me.”
While Hart said of his tweets, “I understand why people would be upset which is why I made the choice to not use them anymore, because that was wrong. That was a guy who was just looking for laughs and that was stupid. I don’t do that anymore.” Activist DeRay Mckesson said of the interview, “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.”
During a Press Junket for the Movie ‘Get Hard,’ Hart Defended ‘Vaguely Homophobic’ Jokes With the Words, ‘Funny Is Funny’
Buzzfeed’s Adam Vary took issue with Ellen’s characterization of those who found Hart’s tweets as “haters.” Vary tweeted, “The host of the Oscars had made anti-gay jokes, and LGBT people who love the Oscars were legitimately startled to see just how harsh his words were.” Vary added that a “group of people who wanted to understand Hart’s thinking about those hurtful tweets & his stand-up jokes.” Vary then tweeted a link to an interview that Hart did during a press interview for the movie, “Get Hard.” The video shows Hart answering a question about the “vaguely homophobic” jokes in the movie with the words, “Funny is funny.”
Vary concluded his rant by saying, “Finally, it’s depressing that Ellen’s enthusiasm for Hart hosting the Oscars — and he would’ve been a good host! — led her to contribute to a narrative that Hart is the victim of “haters” & “trolls” out to “destroy” him, & if he doesn’t host the Oscars, they’ll “win.” Well if @TheAcademy wants to hire Hart back after he made the simple act of apologizing for hurtful, harmful, anti-gay language into a vicious conspiracy to ruin his entire life, I’m not sure who “wins” in that scenario, either.”