NEW YORK • During an interview with comedian Kevin Hart broadcast last Friday, television host Ellen DeGeneres offered a lengthy defence of Hart and said that she called someone at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to request that he be reinstated as host.
Almost a month ago, Hart stepped down from that role after a backlash over past comments he had made that were considered homophobic.
"I called the academy today because I really want you to host the Oscars," DeGeneres told Hart. "I was so excited when I heard that they asked you. I thought it was an amazing thing. I knew how important it was and how it was a dream."
It was unclear whom she spoke to. The academy did not respond to a request for comment and has not announced a replacement host for Hart.
Hart told DeGeneres that he took responsibility for his past comments, which include a now deleted tweet from 2011 .
He told her that he was re-evaluating whether to host the Oscars (it is unclear if that decision is up to him).
But last Friday, Variety posted an interview it conducted with Hart, before he had spoken to DeGeneres, in which he shut the door on ever hosting the Oscars.
"Would I ever do it?" Hart had said, according to Variety. "No, it's done. It's done. In my mind I got the job, it was a dream job and things came up that simply prohibited it from happening. But I don't believe in going backwards."