Will Kevin Hart Host the Oscars 2019? Reports Suggest He Could Come Back After Ellen DeGeneres Says She Wants Him There

Kevin Hart's controversy with the academy is far from over. The comedic actor pulled out from hosting the 91st Oscars in February after multiple old homophobic tweets of his were unearthed in December 2018, but CNN's chief media correspondent Brian Stelter suggested there was "clearly a pathway" for Hart to return as host.

Stelter joined CNN's New Day on Friday to dissect Hart's appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Thursday, where host Ellen DeGeneres said she wanted Hart to host the show. In light of that, Stelter gave a brief breakdown of his thoughts on the Night School star's decision to bow out and his chances of being rehired by the academy. 

"This is a strange situation because the academy hired Kevin Hart, and then, of course, two days later he quit. The academy has not filled the job. It's been a month now, and the academy has not filled the job," Stelter said. "Normally, this is a really exciting job, one of the best jobs in Hollywood. You get to host the biggest night of the year. But lately there's been fewer people that actually want the job—it's tireless, you get a lot of critics.

"Kevin Hart took the job. He said it was his dream come true. And it is so strange that within a course of two days, he quit amid this outcry of past homophobic tweets and comments. Look, what he said in the past was very ugly and I think he's still, in some ways, sounding like he's the victim a little bit, blaming people for going through his own tweets, a little bit unhappy about that," said Stelter.

Despite the backlash, Stelter claimed, the academy still had interest in settling on Hart as its host. "I do think he's trying to show evolution here, and there's clearly a pathway for him to go back to the Oscars," he concluded.

It was announced on December 4, 2018, that Hart was selected by the academy to host the 2019 Oscars. The position was last helmed by late-night host Jimmy Kimmel, who hosted the annual ceremony two years in a row. But the Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle actor bowed out on December 7 after the academy requested that he delete homophobic tweets of his that had been unearthed. However, Hart chose to back out because he didn't "want to be a distraction on a night that should be celebrated by so many amazing talented artists."

Hart later addressed the controversy with DeGeneres, who claimed to have called the academy to hear its thoughts on having the actor return as host. DeGeneres, who has hosted the Oscars twice, said the academy told her it did "want him to host" and that "maybe he misunderstood, or it was handled wrong." DeGeneres said Hart should host the ceremony because he is "grown" and has "apologized."

"There's a flip side to any attack; there's another side. There's a B side. There's always an A side, there's a B side," Hart said on Ellen. "On my side, openly, I say, I'm wrong for my past words. I say it. I said it. I understand that. I know that. My kids know when their dad messes up. I'm in front of it because I want to be an example so they know what to do. In this case, it's tough for me because it was an attack."

Hart continued, "This wasn't an accident. This wasn't a coincidence. It wasn't a coincidence that the day after I received the job that tweets just somehow manifested from 2008...To go through 40,000 tweets to get back to 2008, that's an attack. That's a malicious attack on my character."

Kevin Hart Could Still Host Oscars 2019, Reports Suggest Kevin Hart attends the premiere of Universal Pictures' "Night School" in Los Angeles on September 24, 2018. Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

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