Ellen DeGeneres is fighting for actor and comedian Kevin Hart to be reinstated as the host of the 2019 Academy Awards. But her campaign has not been well received on Twitter.

In a preview clip of Friday’s broadcast of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” the talk show host revealed she actually called up the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and asked for Hart to be given back the role.

Hart stepped down as the ceremony’s host in December, just two days after being awarded the gig, after historic tweets and comments he made using homophobic language came to light again.

Hart initially did not apologize. He told DeGeneres it was because he didn’t want to add fuel to the fire for something he’d already said he was sorry for in the past.

He later tweeted this apologetic explanation:

I have made the choice to step down from hosting this year's Oscar's….this is because I do not want to be a distraction on a night that should be celebrated by so many amazing talented artists. I sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past.

— Kevin Hart (@KevinHart4real) December 7, 2018

I'm sorry that I hurt people.. I am evolving and want to continue to do so. My goal is to bring people together not tear us apart. Much love & appreciation to the Academy. I hope we can meet again.

— Kevin Hart (@KevinHart4real) December 7, 2018

DeGeneres said she accepted his apology, and told him:

“I called them (the Academy). 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 or 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.’”

Hart doubled down on his apology, but then criticized the people who had resurfaced his old offensive tweets. “This wasn’t an accident. This wasn’t a coincidence. It wasn’t a coincidence that the day after I received the job, tweets somehow manifested from 2008,” he said.

“That’s an attack, that’s a malicious attack on my character, that’s an attack to end me, that’s not an attack to just stop the Oscars,” Hart added.

In this conversation, @KevinHart4real was authentic and real, and I’m in his corner. #OscarsNeedHart https://t.co/nhMwSefrMl

— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) January 4, 2019

DeGeneres acknowledged that “as a gay person” she had been “sensitive” to Hart’s homophobic comments.

“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,” she said. “You have grown, you have apologized, you are apologizing again right now. You’ve done it.

“Host the Oscars.”

DeGeneres used the #OscarsNeedHart hashtag in a Twitter post promoting the sitdown chat.

Check out the clip here:

In a further preview clip, Hart was tightlipped on his possible reinstatement. He said the conversation with DeGeneres was one “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,” he said. “So, let me assess, just to sit in this space and really think, and you and I will talk before anything else.”

Check out that clip here:

The interview sparked outrage on Twitter:

Ellen giving homophobes the ability to say “but Ellen said it’s okay” is a massive fucking betrayal.I don’t care how many sitcoms you lost in the 90s.

— Happy Houlidays (@RyanHoulihan) January 4, 2019

I feel like if you’re not homophobic anymore, you shouldn’t mind apologizing for your past homophobia again and again and again. I don’t want to hear a hostile retelling of how we didn’t hear your meager apology the first time.

— Louis Virtel (@louisvirtel) January 4, 2019

Ellen’s show is basically the embodiment of respectability politics, so using it as a platform to absolve Kevin Hart on our behalf sounds pretty much on brand. Her sitcom allowed her to do something radical, which she suffered for, & she’s been running away from that ever since.

— Laurence "Laura Dern" Barber (@bortlb) January 4, 2019

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. No, they weren’t “haters” who came after you. It was the LGBTQI+ community because we’re sick to shit of it.

— Harry Cook (@HarryCook) January 4, 2019

And it inspired this Twitter thread from BuzzFeed film reporter Adam B. Vary:

(1) First, the people who brought up Kevin Hart's past tweets — like me — were not, as Ellen characterized, "haters." 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. It wasn't a…

— Adam B. Vary (@adambvary) January 4, 2019

(2) …mob of people out to get Kevin Hart. It was a group of people who wanted to understand Hart's thinking about those hurtful tweets & his stand-up jokes.Second, in his Ellen interview, Hart referenced apologizing for his past during the GET HARD junket. Well…

— Adam B. Vary (@adambvary) January 4, 2019

(3) …when @louisvirtel asked Hart about the vaguely homophobic jokes in GET HARD, like Hart affecting an effeminate voice to evoke fear of prison rape, Hart's response was, "Funny is funny." That may be a legit perspective; it isn't an apology. https://t.co/z92Bslbdhr

— Adam B. Vary (@adambvary) January 4, 2019

(4) Third, Hart argued that the fact that his old tweets were found so quickly is evidence of a malicious attack to destroy him personally, b/c people had to go through over 40k tweets to get back to his old ones from 2010 and 2011 (rather than 2008, as he kept saying). Well…

— Adam B. Vary (@adambvary) January 4, 2019

(5) …Hart may not be aware, but Twitter has a search function that allows anyone to search anyone else's history. So if you're curious if a standup comic hired to host the Oscars had used homophobic language in the past, it takes 10 seconds to find out. https://t.co/FQS89q3o6e

— Adam B. Vary (@adambvary) January 4, 2019

(6) 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…

— Adam B. Vary (@adambvary) January 4, 2019

(7) …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. (END)

— Adam B. Vary (@adambvary) January 4, 2019

The academy still hasn’t announced a replacement host for the annual awards show, set for Feb. 24.

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