Kevin Hart is not ruling out a future invitation to host the Oscars, despite recent backlash that prompted him to step down from the coveted role.
Speaking to TMZ earlier this week, Hart, who notably stepped down from the gig after past homophobic comments resurfaced, alluded to the fact that there is a chance, regardless of how slim it is, that he will be stepping onto the stage at the Dolby Theater for the biggest awards show of the year.
"The chances are very slim," Hart replies when asked if he would host the awards show in the future. "I love The Academy, I love everybody that's involved with the process of building the Oscars and making it. This year was just a tricky year, so maybe in the future it will work out."
When asked if The Academy had reached out to him for any future hosting gigs, Hart simply replied with "no comment." When asked if he would accept the gig if The Academy had reached out, he once again played coy, stating "no comment."
Hart had initially been announced as the host of the 91st Oscars in December. The announcement immediately sparked backlash and criticism of The Academy's decision after a number of past statements resurfaced in which Hart made controversial anti-gay jokes, including one in which he joked that somebody looked like "a gay bill board for AIDS" and another in which he called someone a "FAT F–."
In 2010, Hart had also joked during a stand-up performance about his fear of his son "growing up and being gay."
Hart eventually made the decision to step down from hosting, though the controversy wasn't quick to fade. In fact, following a recent appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, which saw DeGeneres encouraging Hart to accept the chance to host, the criticism started anew, this time directed at both the comedian and DeGeneres, who was accused of allowing Hart's homophobic comments a pass.
Hart later issued an emotional apology to the LGBTQ community for his past behavior and hurtful comments, acknowledging that he was in the wrong and promising to work towards being more accepting and welcoming of criticism in the future.0comments
In the apology, he promised that he was "going to make sure that I don't do anything else offensive [in comedy]," and explained that "in the times that we're living in, we have to be understanding and accepting of people and change."
The 2019 Academy Awards, set to air on Sunday, Feb. 24 on ABC, currently does not have a replacement host.