In an extended interview scheduled to air today, Ellen DeGeneres sat down with Kevin Hart to discuss his hiring and dismissal as host of the 2019 Oscar broadcast. The interview, an episode of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” that was originally supposed to air on Monday but instead was bumped up due to the “importance” of the topic, saw DeGeneres endorsing Hart’s return to the stage, something that has already seen vocal opposition on Twitter.
According to DeGeneres she talked with the Academy prior to Hart appearing on her show. DeGeneres quite memorably hosted the show in both 2007 and 2014 (that was the year she broke the internet with her epic selfie), and seems to still be on good terms. "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,'" Ellen told Hart.
Hart, meanwhile, said he would think about returning to the job. "Leaving here, I promise you, I'm evaluating this conversation. This is a conversation I needed to have, I'm glad that I had it here, and I'm glad that it was as authentic and real as I could have hoped that it would be. So let me assess, just to sit in this space and really think, and you and I will talk before anything else," he told DeGeneres, who was effusive about his return. The host said that not hosting the Oscars would let the “haters” win, which is a simplistic reading of the situation, to say the least.
Twitter lit up with opposition to Hart’s return, which is perfectly encapsulated by this thread by Buzzfeed writer Adam B. Vary, in which he breaks down what was wrong with both Hart and DeGeneres’ analysis of the situation and argues for why Hart coming back to host would be a very bad idea. (Just read it.) Whatever ends up happening, it’ll be quick. The still-host-free Oscar telecast is expected to air on February 24th, 2019 on ABC.