The Oscars hosting situation has been in flux since Ellen DeGeneres made a push to get Kevin Hart the job back, but Mke Fleming Jr. reports on Deadline that Hart appears to have made up his mind not to take the gig.
“Despite the efforts of former host Ellen DeGeneres, Kevin Hart will not re-emerge as host of the 91st Academy Awards, multiple sources are telling Deadline,” Fleming writes. “While this situation is still fluid and he could possibly change his mind, this looks like his final answer, I’m told.”
In a report published Saturday, Fleming adds: “The Academy will continue on its course toward an Oscarcast without a single host, and instead will enlist some of the biggest names in the games to present awards. Hart’s appearance on Ellen to promote his upcoming film ‘The Upside’ rekindled hope when DeGeneres — who sources said turned down the job a while ago — urged Hart to host and made calls to the Academy.”
Fleming also reports: “Hart was moved by DeGeneres’ gesture and indeed reconsidered, and he has apologized so often that the Academy would have been receptive to his return, I’m told. Ultimately, Hart felt his hosting would become a distraction, a continuing controversial narrative that would take the spotlight off the people and movies being honored. He also grew concerned at the limited amount of time he would have had to prepare.”
Hart became the focus of backlash over the decision to have him host the awards when the comedian’s homophobic tweets from 10 years ago began circulating.