During an episode of her talk show
which aired on Friday, out television personality Ellen DeGeneres
backed comedian Kevin Hart to host the Oscars.
Hart turned down the gig after he was
criticized over old homophobic tweets and jokes. He said that he
would rather not host the Oscars than apologize because he's
During his appearance, Hart said that
he viewed the criticism as an attack on his character and an attempt
to ruin his career, and claimed that he doesn't have a “homophobic
bone” in his body.
“I called them,” DeGeneres said,
referring to the Academy, whom she claimed still wanted Hart to host
its awards show.
“And he should host the Oscars,”
DeGeneres, who married wife Portia de
Rossi in 2008, added that if Hart does not host the Oscars, then the
“haters” will have won.
“As a gay person, I am sensitive to
all of that. You’ve already expressed that it’s not being
educated on the subject, not realizing how dangerous those words are,
not realizing how many kids are killed for being gay or beaten up
every day,” DeGeneres said. “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.”
Response on social media was swift,
with many saying that Hart's apology was insincere.
“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,” @HarryCook wrote. “No, they weren't 'haters' who
came after you. It was the LGBTQI+ community because we're sick to
shit of it.”
“I also believe in forgiveness,”
added @Eamon2Plase, referring to a tweet from DeGeneres. “But I
also believe that forgiveness requires an actual apology. … And he
indignantly refused because he felt his moment was being tainted.
That he was the aggrieved.”
“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,” messaged
CNN anchor Don Lemon, who is gay, also
questioned Hart's apology, saying that the news outlet could not find
those previous apologies that Hart claims he's made.
“For many in the gay community, but
especially in the black community, the Twitter apologies or
explanations on Ellen have fallen flat,” Lemon
said. “To many they seem insincere and that he has somehow
turned himself into a victim, instead of acknowledging the real
victims of violent and sometimes deadly homophobia. Kevin, if
anything, this is the time to hear other people out. To understand
why they might have been offended. And I don't see any meaningful
outreach to the LGBT community.”
DeGeneres appeared to respond to the
backlash, saying in a tweet: “However you feel about this, the only
positive way through it is to talk about it. Thank you for being