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Kevin Hart on Not Wanting to Host the Oscars, Says Award Shows ‘Aren’t Comedy-Friendly Environments Anymore’

The 44-year-old was originally set to host the Oscars in 2019 but stepped down when homophobic tweets were resurfaced.
Kevin Hart
Twitter/@TheAcademy

Don’t expect Kevin Hart to be hosting the Oscars anytime soon, if ever.

The actor and comedian recently told Sky News that he will never take on hosting duties at the Oscars or other award shows.

“No, absolutely not,” said the 44-year-old in an interview while on the promo trail for his Netflix action flick Lift.

“Whatever level of hope you had, I want to destroy it right now … Those gigs aren’t good gigs for comics. It’s no shot to the Oscars, no shot to the Globes or anything else. Those just aren’t comedy-friendly environments anymore,” he said, per the New York Post.

Hart continued, “I think they got it right one year where it was like just a bunch of personalities acting as the hosts and that’s a nice thing. It’s a collaborative thing, different people get to be responsible for act one, act two, act three, but you know, the days of it being a room for a comic, those days are done. 

However, Hart gave a shout out to the comics that “cracked the code” of award show hosting, including Chris Rock, Billy Crystal, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Ricky Gervais.

“If you’re not an industry comic, meaning a comic that has the relationships of all, then those rooms are very cold,” he added. “It’s too much pressure on the idea of a comic and what’s jokes and not jokes. So, it’s tough.”

Hart was initially announced to host the 91st Academy Awards ceremony in 2019. A series of old homophobic tweets made by the comedian resurfaced shortly after the announcement, leading to outrage and calls from online critics for Hart to be removed from hosting the prestigious award show.

In a video shared to Instagram at the time, Hart said that he received a phone call from the Academy giving him an ultimatum: apologize for the tweets or find another host. He chose the latter.

During a 2019 appearance on The Ellen Degeneres Show, DeGeneres revealed that she reached out to the Academy and that they were apparently still interested in re-hiring him.

Hart made a final decision to not host the show shortly after. It was then decided by the Academy to go hostless that year.

During a 2019 interview with USA Today, Hart said he was able to “make amends” with the LGBTQ+ people in his life.

“I had several conversations with good friends of mine that are part of the LGBTQ community, and listened and heard the point of view that was very important, which was, ‘Hey, Kevin, we just want to know that you don’t feel the way you felt then. We wanted to hear you say that,'” Hart said then.

“I thought that me putting my change on display and never going back to that was the best way to do that… 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.”

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