Michael Che brought up the subject during the episode's Weekend Update segment, also making a joke about Mel Gibson.
"Well, that was short," Che said when Hart's photo first appeared on the screen.
"Kevin Hart had to step down as host of the upcoming Academy Awards because of homophobic tweets from 2011... but didn't the Academy nominated Mel Gibson for an award just last year?
He continued: "Also, if Kevin Hart isn't clean enough to host the Oscars then no black comic is. The only black comic I know that's cleaner than Kevin Hart is booked for the next 8 to 10 years."
The screen then changed to show a photo of disgrace comedian Bill Cosby, recently convicted to 8 to 10 years in prison. The comment resulted in much uproar and laughter from the audience.
Fans of the series gave amazed response to the joke, some agreeing with Che.
The Weekend Update #SNL
Shows a picture of Kevin Hart
Michael Che: "Well that was short" 🤣🤣🤣🤣— Mark Longoria (@Mark_A_Longoria) December 9, 2018
"The audience did not give 'Well, that was short' enough love when Che made his Kevin Hart/Oscars joke," one user commented.
Others were uncomfortable by the joke, noting that the issue was not about whether Hart had made bad jokes in the past but about his homophobia not allowing him to apologize even now.
Michael Che, stfu. It’s not about whether or not Kevin Hart is a “clean” comic. It’s about homophobia, dimwit. 😒 #SNL— Lisa Bee Good For Goodness Sake 🤶🏾 (@leebee4life) December 9, 2018
"He screwed up the Kevin Hart joke," another user wrote.
Hart stepped down from the Oscar hosting gig two days after the announcement he would be taking on the role after a series of homophobic tweets surfaced.
The tweets from 2009 to 2011 included language where Hart disparaged gay people and made jokes about sexuality. He was criticized Thursday for refusing to apologize for his past comments.
"I have made the choice to step down from hosting this year's Oscars," Hart said on social media Thursday. "This is because I do not want to be a distraction on a night that should be celebrated by so many amazing talented artists."
He added, "I sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past. I'm sorry that I hurt people... I am evolving and want to continue to do so. My goal is to bring people together not tear us apart. Much love [and] appreciation to the Academy. I hope we can meet again."
Saturday Night Live airs weekly at 11:30 p.m. ET on NBC. Matt Damon will host the next episode, featuring musical guests Mark Ronson and Miley Cyrus on Dec. 15.