Last month, the 39-year-old comedian announced he would step down from hosting the upcoming Academy Awards after facing controversy over resurfaced tweets from nearly 10 years ago, containing homophobic remarks.
Hart has since deleted some of the anti-gay tweets, mostly dated from 2009-2011. But they had already been screen-captured and been shared online. In 2011, he wrote in a since-deleted tweet: “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.’”
Hart’s attitudes about homosexuality were also a well-known part of his stand-up act. In the 2010 special “Seriously Funny,” he said “one of my biggest fears is my son growing up and being gay.”
The comedian didn’t discuss his decision since last month but in a recent episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Hart gave his first televised interview since the controversy where he discussed with Ellen DeGeneres for the first time what it was like to go from the high of getting the gig to the low of having his name and reputation tarnished.
He stated that he doesn’t have a homophobic bone in his body and noted that after the tweets, he’s taken the last 10 years to change who he is as a person. He also told Ellen that he is reconsidering his decision to step down as a host of the 91st Academy Awards.
DeGeneres revealed that she spoke with the Academy ahead of Hart’s appearance on her daytime talk show to ask if they’d take him back. “They were like, ‘Oh my god, we want him to host. We feel like maybe he misunderstood or it was handled wrong or maybe he said the wrong thing, but we want him to host. Whatever we can do, we would be thrilled,’” she says.
It’s not the first time an Oscars host has been derailed by anti-gay remarks. Ahead of the 2012 Academy Awards, producer Brett Ratner, who had been paired with host Eddie Murphy, resigned days after using a gay slur at a film screening. The film academy decided to move up this year’s ceremony to Feb. 24 after Hart’s announcement of stepping down from hosting the event.