After a show of support from fellow comedienne Ellen Degeneres, rumors began to circulate if Kevin Hart would set aside his differences with the Academy and host the Oscars anyway. Speaking with Variety on Friday, Hart put those rumors to rest when he unequivocally stated “it’s done.”
“Would I ever do it? No, it’s done. It’s done,” Hart told Variety. “The moment came and it was a blessing and I was excited at the opportunity and I still am. In my mind I got the job, it was a dream job, and things came up that simply prohibited it from happening. But I don’t believe in going backwards.”
Last December, Kevin Hart stepped down from hosting the Oscars over old jokes that were offensive to the LGBT community, most of them revolving around his fear about his son becoming gay. As the backlash online mounted, the Academy demanded that Hart publicly apologize or face firing; hours later, he declined that apology and announced he would be stepping down.
“I chose to pass. I passed on the apology,” said Hart in an Instagram video. “The reason why I passed is because I’ve addressed this several times. This is not the first time this has come up. I’ve addressed it. I’ve spoken on it. I’ve said where the rights and wrongs were. I’ve said who I am now versus who I was then. I’ve done it. I’ve done it. I’m not going to continue to go back and tap into the days of old when I moved on. I’m in a completely different space in my life.”
The Academy has since been scrambling to find a solution following the Hart fiasco. Reports indicate that the Academy is considering forgoing an Oscars host entirely in 2019.
None of that means, however, that Hart has no ambitions to stand upon the Oscars stage.
“When I go on that stage, it will be because I’ve somehow figured out a way to win the Oscar,” Hart said. “Somehow I’ll get to the stage but it’s not going to be in this way because it just comes with such a weird cloud at this point.”
He added, “There’s no ill will toward the Academy.”
Kevin Hart leveled much of his criticism at the online trolls who used the old jokes he made as a means to stoke a social media mob.
“You’re living in times where words and points of view can be misconstrued because of how strong the internet is,” Hart said. “The manipulation of headlines is what was amazing when this whole thing hit. It was, ‘Kevin Hart steps down because he refuses to apologize for homophobic tweets.’ This was what was said and it was blasted all over the internet, and the word ‘again’ somehow got lost, which was a major word. I’ve addressed this several times.”
In his interview with Ellen Degeneres on Friday, the noted LGBT activist openly stated her hope that Hart would reconsider his decision to step down.
“I know you are not that guy because I know you,” she said. “I think the night will be about you, and it should be about you, and you should host the Oscars, and I’m going to talk you into it.”