Ellen DeGeneres faces backlash after urging Kevin Hart to reconsider hosting Oscars

Kevin Hart with Ellen DeGeneres on 'Ellen.'.
Kevin Hart with Ellen DeGeneres on 'Ellen.'. Instagram/Warner Bros. Televison

Ellen DeGeneres is facing a backlash from many of her viewers after fighting for comedian Kevin Hart to reconsider hosting the 2019 Academy Awards.

In a preview clip for Friday’s broadcast of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, the host said that she called the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and asked for Hart to be reinstated as host. She also said she accepted his apology for his homophobic tweets.

WATCH BELOW: The latest on Kevin Hart

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Two days after he was named the host of the awards show last month, Hart withdrew from the job when some of his homophobic tweets from a decade ago resurfaced.

READ MORE: Kevin Hart steps down from Oscars hosting gig, apologizes for homophobic tweets

Initially, Hart did not apologize. He told the talk show host that it was because he didn’t want to add fuel to the fire for something he’d already apologized for in the past.

On Dec. 7, the Real Husbands of Hollywood star tweeted an 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,” he wrote.

“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,” he tweeted.

READ MORE: Kevin Hart to host the 2019 Oscars

In a preview for the show, Hart says he is “evaluating” reprising his role as host after DeGeneres called the Academy to help him out.

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“I called them, 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. 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,'” DeGeneres shared.

DeGeneres continued: “As a gay person, I am sensitive to all of that. 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.”

“You have grown, you have apologized, you are apologizing again right now. You’ve done it. Don’t let those people win — host the Oscars,” she added.

READ MORE: Ellen DeGeneres opens up about girlfriend’s tragic death at age 20

Hart went on to apologize again but he also criticized the people who dug up his old tweets and resurfaced them for the world to see after he landed the gig to host the 2019 Oscars.

“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.

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He continued: “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.”

DeGeneres began facing her own backlash for defending Hart and tweeting: “I believe in forgiveness. I believe in second chances. And I believe in @KevinHart4real.”

Many people took to Twitter to criticize DeGeneres for defending Hart.

READ MORE: Kevin Hart credits ‘angels’ after surviving serious airplane scare

DeGeneres continued to stand by the interview, writing on Twitter: “In this conversation, @KevinHart4real was authentic and real, and I’m in his corner.”

Hart teased the interview on his Instagram page, writing: “I stopped by @theellenshow to do some promo for my new movie The Upside & ended up staying on for the entire hour.”

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He continued: “Trust me when I tell you that you won’t want to miss tomorrow’s episode. This was by far the most raw/honest & authentic interview that I have ever done. We talk about the Oscar controversy in depth. Make sure you tune in!!!!!”

The Oscars haven’t named a replacement for Hart, who they hoped would juice ratings for the show. Last year, the Academy Awards had its smallest audience ever.

Hart says he’ll reconsider his decision to step down as host of the Academy Awards.

—With files from the Associated Press

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