- The Washington Times - Friday, January 4, 2019

Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres encouraged comedian Kevin Hart to host the Oscars after outrage on social media about his earlier comments on homosexuality pushed him out of the job in December.

Ms. DeGeneres, who is a lesbian, shared clips of her interview with Mr. Hart on Twitter early Friday morning and revealed she called the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to advocate for her fellow comedian.

“They were like, ‘Oh my God, we want him to host. We feel like that maybe he misunderstood, or it was handled wrong or maybe we said the wrong thing, but we want him to host. Whatever we can do we would be thrilled,’” she told Mr. Hart.

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Mr. Hart stepped down as just two days after being named host as criticism mounted rapidly online over homophobic comments he made several years earlier.

“The next morning, after a day full of congratulations and celebrations, I’m hit with an onslaught on social media of my past coming back up again,” he told Ms. DeGeneres.

He blamed media outlets for running with negative headlines and said nobody acknowledged his previous apologies.

“I don’t know the perfect individual that society is now looking for,” he said. “It’s not me.”

Ms. DeGeneres, who came out as gay in the late 1990s, said the whole ordeal brought up a necessary conversation about homophobia and growth.

“There [are] so many haters out there,” she said. “Don’t let those people win.”

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