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EntertainmentWhy Is Ellen DeGeneres Trying to Rehab Kevin Hart as Oscars Host?

20:55  04 january  2019
20:55  04 january  2019 Source:   vogue.com

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(Video provided by ETOnline.com)

Ellen DeGeneres has a massive platform, and has apparently decided to use it to rehab Kevin Hart's reputation after the actor stepped down from his 2019 Oscars hosting gig in December. DeGeneres has shared an interview on her talk show with Hart in which she says that she still believes he should keep the host role. Our question is: Why?

Let's back up: Hart removed himself from the 2019 Oscars show after some of his old homophobic tweets resurfaced, tweets that said things like he would break his daughter's doll house over his son's head if he tried to play with it, because "that's gay."

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Hart's initial response was not to apologize but to ask that critics "Please take your negative energy and put it into something constructive"—though it was still reported that Hart was deleting the old tweets he supposedly stood behind. By the next day, he had apologized and stepped down.

Since then, the Oscars host spot has remained unfilled; we speculated that the disconnect between the old guard who run the show and what audiences actually want (the younger, online crowd especially) is to blame, and that it might even be better not to have a host at all.

Why Is Ellen DeGeneres Trying to Rehab Kevin Hart as Oscars Host?© Vogue That disconnect seems to be the same one at work in the latest development in the Oscars host saga, in which DeGeneres had Hart on her show for a kind of rehabilitation interview, in which she gave him a platform to apologize again to the LGBTQ community, and in which she personally absolves him.

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Not only that; in the interview, DeGeneres admits to actually calling the Academy to try and get Hart reinstated.

"I called them, I said, 'Kevin’s on, I have no idea if he wants to come back and host, but what are your thoughts?'" DeGeneres said. "And they were like, 'Oh my God, we want him to host! We feel like that maybe he misunderstood or it was handled wrong. Maybe we said the wrong thing but we want him to host. Whatever we can do we would be thrilled. And he should host the Oscars.'"

For his part, Hart follows the same penchant for self-inquiry that he's so far displayed since the Oscars hubbub began, which is close to none. He says his hesitation to considering hosting again is not because he still feels bad about his views on gay people but because of the people who combed through his tweets, saying, "That's a malicious attack on my character...that's an attack to end me."

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But the outrage about Hart's old comments —and his lack of introspection and genuine interrogation of why his tweets were so upsetting—isn't new; what is now stoking backlash is DeGeneres, a very high profile lesbian woman in entertainment, cosigning Hart with what feels like very little cause.

DeGeneres herself used the word "trolls" to describe the people who called for Hart's resignation (not to mention the LGBTQ reporters and activists who wrote about the tweets). What's more, she connected her own marginalized experience to Hart being pushed out of the gig: "As a gay person," DeGeneres said, "I am sensitive to all of that and I talked to you about all of this and you've already expressed that it's not being educated on the subject, not realizing how dangerous those words are, not realizing how many kids are killed for being gay, or beaten up every day. You have grown, you have apologized, you are apologizing again right now. You've done it. Don't let those people win. Host the Oscars."

No one else seems to be seeing the growth that DeGeneres claims Hart has displayed; perhaps when you are an uber-famous, uber-wealthy comedian it's hard for you not to try and vouch for your colleagues, no matter how tone deaf you and they appear.

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"Tone deaf" might even be too light of an indictment given the Trump administration's attacks on human rights, and those of trans Americans in particular. DeGeneres could have shared her platform with dozens of other comedians in the queer community instead of allowing Hart to further a narrative in which he is the victim (rather than the people he referred to as "f*gs" over and over online). If the Oscars want to come out of the Dark Ages, the Academy will forward her next call.

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