Kevin Hart has decided he doesn’t want to host the 91st Academy Awards, despite interest from the Academy on having him emcee after stepping down, and an interview on Ellen that was apparently meant to rehabilitate his image.
On Saturday, Deadline reported Hart had decided against hosting because his presence would be a distraction and “take the spotlight off the people and movies being honored.”
He’s also said to be concerned he wouldn’t have enough time to prepare. Although the website notes there’s still a possibility he could change his mind.
The Oscars are now reportedly considering moving on without a host, and organizers have been reaching out to stars to help keep the show moving.
This latest turn comes after Hart appeared on Ellen Friday afternoon, and said he’s “evaluating” whether he should give the Oscars job another shot. Hart made the admission after host Ellen DeGeneres urged him not to give up on his “dream.”
The Night School star told DeGeneres internet “trolls” who resurfaced his old homophobic tweets were “attacking” him and his accomplishments. “This was to destroy me,” he insisted.
Hart also said he has matured, evolved, and apologized several times.
“I know who I am,” he added. “I know I don’t have a homophobic bone in my body.”
DeGeneres, who previously hosted the Oscars in 2007 and 2014, said she supported Hart, and had contacted the Academy on his behalf.
The interview sparked more backlash with social media users criticizing openly-gay DeGeneres for not challenging Hart.
The talk show host said on Twitter she stands behind him.
“I believe in forgiveness. I believe in second chances. And I believe in @KevinHart4real,” she tweeted.
Hart announced he would be hosting the Oscars on Dec. 4, calling the job an “opportunity of a lifetime” in an Instagram post.
Two days later he stepped down.