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Kevin Hart is still talking about losing the Oscars hosting gig because of his homophobic comments

Nick Duffy February 6, 2020
Comedian Kevin Hart is still talking about the 2019 Oscars

Comedian Kevin Hart is still talking about the 2019 Oscars (Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)

A year on from the 2019 Oscars, Kevin Hart is still talking about his decision to quit at host rather than apologise for homophobia.

The comic quit as the host of last year’s Academy Awards after organisers asked him to issue an apology for his historical anti-gay material.

Hart opted to publicly resign three months before the February 2019 ceremony – earning him plaudits from right-wing pundits, and sparking an inevitable, seemingly never-ending discussion about how it was all the fault of LGBT+ activists.

Kevin Hart says Ellen and Wanda Sykes challenged him

2020’s Oscars are set to take place on Sunday, featuring no formal host for a second year in a row, and Hart is still not over the controversy.

Speaking to Men’s Health, he said: “With the whole Oscars thing, there was a big gap between what I thought the problem was versus what the problem really was.”

Hart said he was initially reluctant to apologise, saying: “I got ten years where I made sure not to joke or play in the way that I did back then because it was a problem.

“I don’t care if you’re gay or not gay. I’m a people person. I’m going to love you regardless.”

He added: “It wasn’t until close friends like Wanda Sykes, Lee Daniels, and Ellen [DeGeneres] talked to me and explained what they didn’t hear me say, that I understood. Then I was like, ‘Oh, shit—I did f**k up.’ ”

Kevin Hart attends the FX Networks' Star Walk Winter Press Tour 2020 at The Langham Huntington, Pasadena on January 09, 2020 in Pasadena, California.
Kevin Hart attends the FX Networks’ Star Walk Winter Press Tour 2020 at The Langham Huntington, Pasadena on January 09, 2020 in Pasadena, California. (Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)

Comedian says there were ‘miscommunications’ with LGBT community.

In April, Hart denied “playing the victim” over the row.

The comedian told USA Today: “The way that I handled it in the beginning was never from a place where I’m being negative or angry or playing victim.

“It was, ‘Hey, guys, I apologised about this. I talked about this years ago and I said I’ll never do it again.’

“To me, that was the apology. The apology was never doing it again. I didn’t understand why that wasn’t good [enough].”

He added: “I thought the best way to say sorry is by changing, whereas some people still wanted to just hear me say it again. And that’s where I think the miscommunication or the disconnect came from.”

The comedian said that he had “several conversations with good friends of mine that are part of the LGBTQ community,” including Empire director Lee Daniels, who told him, “We just want to know that you don’t feel the way you felt then. We wanted to hear you say that.”

He continued: “I thought that me putting my change on display and never going back to that was the best way to do that. And if the verbal (apology) would have been better, then I can understand that. But at the time, I didn’t grasp that concept of just wanting to hear that again.

“Hopefully the people of the LGBTQ community know that I in no way, shape or form embrace any ill will toward anybody in general. It’s not who I am.”

More: academy awards, Kevin Hart, Oscars

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