Ellen DeGeneres is throwing her support behind Kevin Hart to host the 2019 Oscars – and the co-hosts of “The View” agree, but say Hart’s mea culpa needs some building on.
Days after the comedian was picked in December, he faced extreme backlash for homophobic tweets from eight years ago that re-emerged online.
Hart announced he would step down from the role later that day, saying on Twitter “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.”
Hart explained on Instagram that he told the Academy he refused to apologize: “I’ve moved on… I’ve said where the rights and wrongs were. I’ve said who I am now versus who I was then."
In an interview with Ellen DeGeneres set to air Friday, the host said she reached out to the Academy on Hart’s behalf.
"They're gonna win if you don't host the Oscars," DeGeneres said, referring to "trolls" online chastising Hart for his old tweets. "You can’t let them destroy you and they can't destroy you because you have too much talent.”
The celebrated daytime host is an advocate and member of the LGBT community -– and has hosted the Academy Awards herself twice.
Degeneres’ take on the controversy received mixed responses including criticism that as a gay woman, she shouldn’t support Hart.
“I think she’s speaking for herself, right? A lot of times, when you speak when you’re a Latina, when you’re this, when you’re that, people get mad because they think you’re representing [that community],” Ana Navarro said on “The View.”
Navarro said allowing Hart to host “could be a teaching moment.”
“We have got to let go of people who have apologized," she said. "If people are going to evolve, what’s the point of evolving if you’re not going to move on?”
Sunny Hostin agreed.
“He has apologized and he has evolved in his position,” she said.
“When is a person allowed to evolve?" Hostin added. "When is a person allowed to become an ally? And I think he should be allowed… And I would like to see him become the host of the Oscars and use the opportunity … to become that ally.”
Huntsman echoed Navarro and Hostin’s take.
“I personally thought his apology after … all this broke was sort of a non-apology apology," Huntsman said. "But I agree, I want him to use this as a real teaching moment."
Meghan McCain says it’s Hart’s apology that “hasn’t really come up to snuff yet.”
She said that a teaching moment requires Hart “to come out and say ‘I was wrong, that is ignorance –- we have people who are killing themselves...’ he hasn’t said any of that!”
“Being LGBT and young in this country, especially in places [like] where I’m from in the middle of the country isn't always easy,” McCain added. “Just say ‘I’m really sorry and I would like to take this opportunity and this platform to use it.’”
“If he comes out vociferously apologizing, then everybody deserves a second chance,” she said.