"I felt like it was a conversation that was going to continue and continue and continue. Let me assess, just sit in the space and really think".
On Twitter, Hart apologised to the LGBTQ community for what he called "my insensitive words from my past".
He went on, "I've taken 10 years to put that apology to work ..."
"This is to damage the lives that have been invested in me", he asserted.
Hart admits that he was deflated after first accepting the job and then logging in online to find people attacking him for old jokes he said he'd previously apologized for. "Because that was wrong". "We are a huge group of people who love you and want to see you host the Oscars". "But I don't believe in going backwards".
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"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. Both comics have made headlines recently, the former Louie star over his controversial standup set mocking Parkland shooting survivors, and Hart for potentially returning as host for this year's Oscars.
DeGeneres, who is openly gay, tweeted a clip from the interview in which Hart again apologised for the tweets, but said he did not want the Academy Awards to be about him. Hart opened up about the backlash he received after his old homophobic tweets surfaced and why he hastily stepped down after being offered the "once in a lifetime" hosting gig. "I'm glad it's as authentic and real as I could've hoped it would be", he added.
Why did Kevin Hart step down from hosting the Oscars?
Hart added: "Either my apology is accepted or it isn't".
"You have grown, you have apologised, you are apologising again right now". Because I wanna be done with the conversation. "To go back through 40,000 tweets to get back to 2008 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". Either I can move forward or I can't, but you can't grow as a person without mistakes. "Comedians are the people that are going to say what you think but never say". The Oscars (which don't now have a host) air February 24 on ABC.
DeGeneres supported Hart throughout their discussion, telling him: "Don't let those people win".