The comedian Kevin Hart received the support of Ellen DeGeneres, after strong messages circulated that he published a decade ago. Encouraged by the American presenter Ellen DeGeneres, Kevin Hart said he will reconsider his decision to retire as host of the Academy Awards.

The comedian backed down two days after being named master of ceremonies for the Oscars last month, when some homophobic tweets he made a decade ago resurfaced. But DeGeneres exhorted him to present the gala, in an interview that aired on Friday.

The Academy of Cinematographic Arts and Sciences has not named a new host for the gala on February 24. “You’ve grown,” DeGeneres told Hart. “You’ve apologized, you’re apologizing now again, they’ve done it, do not let these people win, present the Oscars.”

He pressed a little more saying when returning from a commercial break: “We are back with the host of this year’s Oscars, Kevin Hart.”

©AFP – Kevin Hart

Hart told DeGeneres that he appreciated his words and would rethink their conversation. If this is a campaign to bring him back, he could not have started more shrewdly: in a hugely successful talk show hosted by one of Hollywood’s most prominent gay celebrities who hosted the Oscars in 2007 and 2014.

DeGeneres said he called the Academy this week to urge them to bring Hart back, and that he was told that managers would be “delighted” if he accepted. A message was sent to a representative of the Academy.

Hart wrote homophobic messages on Twitter, mostly between 2009 and 2011, including one in which he said: “If my son comes home and tries to play with my daughter’s dollhouse I’ll break it on his head and say ‘stop that It’s gay’.” The message was deleted afterwards. He also made anti-gay comments on his show.

Hart said it was a difficult situation for him because when his tweets reappeared the day after he announced his participation in the Oscars he considered it an attack. “That was an attempt to destroy me,” he said.

DeGeneres received some resistance in social networks, where some expressed that Hart’s homophobic jokes were a legitimate topic of discussion, not a case of malice to hurt him. The famous host responded to these criticisms: “I believe in forgiveness, I believe in second chances”.

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