Controversy continues to hound Kevin Hart after previous homophobic comments were drudged up, but it might not hurt one of his immediate job prospects.
Despite the comedian stepping away from hosting the Oscars next month, a new report from Variety indicates that the Academy would be willing to let Hart back if he wanted the gig.
The report also describes the trouble the Academy has had in finding a replacement for the ceremony celebrating excellence in film, while also coming on the heels of Hart's appearance on The Ellen Show.
The interview contained an impassioned plea from Ellen DeGeneres to resume his hosting gig for the Academy Awards, and she said she has spoken with people involved with the Academy who want Hart to return.
“We want him to host, we feel like maybe he misunderstood or it was handled wrong, or maybe we said the wrong thing,” DeGeneres said, apparently quoting someone from the Academy. “But we want him to host. Whatever we can do, we want him to host.”
But Variety's report disputes the "apologetic" tone from Ellen, saying the comments were "taken out of context."
While Hart remains a possibility, the Academy is continuing to explore other options, including running the show without a host but featuring many celebrity cameos.
During Hart's appearance on The Ellen Show, Hart spoke about outside forces who were seeking to hurt his career.
"This was to destroy me," Hart said. "This was to end all partnerships, all brand relationships, all investment opportunities, studio relationships, my production company and the people that work underneath me. This was to damage the lives that have been invested in me."
He added that he doesn't have a homophobic bone in his body, before Ellen continued to encourage him to resume his duties as the Oscars' host.0comments
"What we’re going to get to see on stage with you hosting the Oscars is sophistication, class, hilarity and you growing as a person," Ellen told Hart. "Because most people would say, ‘I’m walking away … ’ For you to be the bigger man, for you to say I understand …and to not pay attention. There are so many haters out there."
The 91st Academy Awards are scheduled to air on February 24th on ABC.