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the academy awards

Ellen DeGeneres has generated controversy by throwing her support behind comedian Kevin Hart, who was forced to step down as the host of the 2019 Academy Awards following accusations of homophobia.

Hart appeared on The Ellen Show for a full hour to promote his new film, The Upside, and to defend his decision to step down as the Oscars host following the re-surfacing of years-old tweets and quotes. 

Ellen interviewed the comedian and according to Variety, said the producers of the Academy Awards "admitted to possibly mishandling Hart's departure” and would be “emphatic” to see him return.

The popular chat show host, and former host of the awards ceremony herself declared; “We want him to host. Whatever we can do, we want him to host.”

He spoke about the issue uninterrupted for nearly six minutes, a rarity on US television, and told Ellen that the Oscars was; "…one of the highest of highs, simply because there hasn't been a lot of African Americans that have been able to do it."

Saying it was "unreal" to be asked to host the coveted awards ceremony on ABC this February, he described the onslaught of social media backlash which followed his appointment and later led to his stepping down;

"To get the moment, celebrate the moment—'Oh, my God! I can't believe it's happen!'—and then the next morning after a day full of congratulations and celebrations, I'm hit with an onslaught on social media of my past coming back up again."

"Literally, the next morning! Not even a full 24 hours to glow in the glory of 'Kevin Hart Is Hosting This Year's Oscars,'" the comic described.

"When it happened, my first thought is, 'I'm going to ignore it. I'm going to ignore it because it's 10 years old. This is stuff I've addressed. I've talked about this. This isn't new. I've addressed it! I've apologised for it. I'm not going to pay it any mind.'"

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Kevin Hart (@kevinhart4real) on

His controversial tweets were between 2009 and 2011, and the now deleted post reads; “Yo if my son comes home & try’s 2 play with my daughters doll house I’m going 2 break it over his head & say n my voice ‘stop that’s gay’.”

The interview is broadcasting on today's episode of Ellen, with the host saying she believes in "second chances", and believes he deserves to host.

“It’s all they ever wanted him to do, and he’s doing it in spades. So now he should be able to come back on his own terms."

She has incredible influence in the public eye and within the awards circuit herself, so who knows what could happen? 

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Kevin Hart has officially confirmed that he will be hosting the esteemed Oscars awards next year, saying that it's time "to rise to the occasion."

The 91st Academy Awards will take place on February 24, with nominations are set for January 22, and the internet has been rife with guesses over who the next host would be.

The Academy and Hart both confirmed on social media that it was time for the comedian to take up the mantle, after he previously said that he would get the gig in due time; "it will happen when it’s supposed to.”

Looks like that time is now, Kevin.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Kevin Hart (@kevinhart4real) on

Writing on his Instagram, the comedy veteran wrote;

“For years I have been asked if I would ever host the Oscars and my answer was always the same…I said that it would be the opportunity of a lifetime for me as a comedian…"

He continued; “I am so happy to say that the day has finally come for me to host the Oscars.”

The Academy were quick to confirm it through their Twitter;

Hart described exactly how much the experience means to him, despite The Hollywood Reporter describing it as the least wanted gig in town;

"I am blown away simply because this has been a goal on my list for a long time … To be able to join the legendary list of host that have graced this stage is unbelievable," Hart wrote.

"I know my mom is smiling from ear to ear right now."

Veteran producer Donna Gigliotti and Hollywood director Glenn Weiss have also been named as co-producers for this year's ceremony on ABC.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Kevin Hart (@kevinhart4real) on

Academy president John Bailey and CEO Dawn Hudson along with the new producing team have pledged to shorten the show in the face of dropping ratings.

Hart, as one of the Hollywood’s top comedians and comedic actors, could be important for broadening their reach; especially after the race controversy which has taken hold over the coveted award ceremony.

The Oscars have been hosted by Jimmy Kimmel for the last two years, and produced by Michael De Luca and Jennifer Todd.

One thing is certain, Hart will be putting everything he has to give the audience the best time possible; "I will be sure to make sure this years Oscars are a special one."

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