On Friday, Hart sat down with Ellen DeGeneres to discuss the situation on her show; during the conversation, DeGeneres revealed she personally called the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and urged them to re-hire Hart as host of the 2019 Oscars ceremony.
Despite DeGeneres’ lobbying, Hart declined to commit to reassuming the hosting gig and – as was the case in December when he dropped out of the Oscars – still didn’t formally apologize for his tweets, instead calling out the “trolls” who launched “a malicious attack on my character.”
Later that night, Lemon, who is openly gay, addressed Hart over CNN’s airwaves with a powerful monologue that also questioned the Oscars’ willingness to invite Hart back.
“Someone like Kevin Hart, with one of the biggest megaphones in the world, can be a leader, the ultimate change agent,” Lemon said. “He can help change homophobia in the black community — something Kevin’s old Twitter jokes addressed, but in the wrong way.”
“Apologizing and moving on does not make the world a better place for people who are gay or people who are transgender, being an ally does,” says CNN’s @DonLemon, reacting to the Oscars’ openness to Kevin Hart’s return https://t.co/ITGU3Uj2ez pic.twitter.com/4u48sfBF0U
— CNN Tonight (@CNNTonight) January 5, 2019
“We need to talk about how people who’ve messed up can become allies as well,” Lemon continued. “Because apologizing and moving on does not make the world a better place for people who are gay or transgender — being an ally does.”
Hart seemingly responded to Lemon’s comments with an Instagram post Saturday. “A news anchor or a journalist does not start at the top…,” Hart wrote, a subtle nod to Lemon. “They have to LEARN and develop to be great at their job.”
Hart continued, “When did we get to the point where we forgot that we all learn, then we all have the ability to grow and with that growth comes a wealth of knowledge. You can’t change without a understanding of what GROWTH means.”
Variety reported that, in an interview prior to the Ellen appearance, Hart confirmed that he would not reassume the Oscars hosting gig.