In tense TV interview, Kevin Hart rules out hosting the Oscars

Kevin Hart shut the door on hosting the Oscars in an interview on “Good Morning America” on Wednesday.

“I’m not hosting the Oscars this year,” Hart told Michael Strahan, one of the morning show’s hosts, citing the lack of preparation time for the Feb. 24 ceremony and the shoot schedule for his next film, a sequel to “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.”

He added: “If I do something, I want to be able to give it my all and make sure that the production is a great representation of me and my talent. I can’t do that right now.”

Talk of Hart being reinstated as host of the Academy Awards was ignited after he made an appearance on Ellen DeGeneres’ talk show last week. DeGeneres implored him to reconsider his withdrawal and said that she had called someone at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to vouch for him. It is unclear whom she spoke to and the Academy never confirmed the call. At the time, Hart said he was re-evaluating the decision to withdraw as host.

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He stepped down from his role last month, shortly after getting the job, when several comments that were deemed homophobic had resurfaced from his past. These included posts on Twitter and a joke on a stand-up special.

On Monday, Hart issued his most direct apology about the material to date, on his SiriusXM radio show.

“Once again, Kevin Hart apologizes for his remarks that hurt members of the LGBTQ community; I apologize,” Hart said. Previously, he had been criticized for saying he had apologized for his past comments, when his addressing of the material was limited.

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The “Good Morning America” appearance, Hart’s first live interview about the Oscars, was tense.

And Hart was speaking as a Variety report came out saying that the Oscars would go on without a host, citing anonymous sources knowledgeable about the planning.

Hart seemed frustrated about having to address the controversy while promoting his movie “The Upside,” which is being released Friday.

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When Strahan pressed Hart on how his beliefs on homosexuality had changed, what he had learned from this experience and what message he had for children, Hart dodged the questions. He answered several times with some variation of “I’m done with it” or “I’m over it.”

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