If Kevin Hart Is Asked Back to Host the Oscars, It Would Be Because He Apologized: Source

Kevin Hart might still get the Oscars hosting job now that he apologized

Kevin Hart might still get the Oscars hosting job now that he’s apologized.

“The Academy did not ask him to step down,” a source tells PEOPLE. “They asked him if would apologize and address his past comments. If he was asked back as host it would be because he has now done so.”

Hart, 39, recently appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres Show where he apologized for his past homophobic tweets that sparked the backlash that led him to resign from the gig just days after he was announced as host. DeGeneres meanwhile revealed in the interview that she’s actively campaigning to have Hart reinstated as host.

“Ellen did in fact call the Academy about reinstating Hart,” the insider confirms. “While Ellen’s re-telling of the conversation is a loose paraphrasing of it, the bottomline is this: Hart was always among the top choices to host this year’s show.”

The Ellen DeGeneres Show
Kevin Hart and Ellen DeGeneres. Michael Rozman/Warner Bros.

The Night School star initially said he would not apologize for previous comments he had made.

“So, I just got a call from the Academy and that call basically said, ‘Kevin apologize for your tweets… or we’re going to have to move on and find another host,'” Hart said in a video shared on Instagram that he captioned “I know who I am and so do the people closest to me.”

A source familiar with the situation confirms to PEOPLE that the Academy did ask Hart to apologize.

But just hours later, Hart stepped down and delivered an apology.

“I have made the choice to step down from hosting this year’s Oscar’s….this is because I do not want to be a distraction on a night that should be celebrated by so many amazing talented artists. I sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past,” he tweeted.

“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,” he added. “Much love & appreciation to the Academy. I hope we can meet again.”

On Friday’s show, DeGeneres, 60, added that as a member of the LGBTQ community she accepted Hart’s apology and encouraged him to go forward with the gig despite criticism.

“As a gay person, I am sensitive to all of that. You’ve already expressed that it’s not being educated on the subject, not realizing how dangerous those words are, not realizing how many kids are killed for being gay or beaten up every day. You have grown, you have apologized, you are apologizing again right now. You’re done it.”

The Academy has yet to announce a new host since Hart stepped down from the gig.

The 91st Academy Awards will air live from Los Angeles on Feb. 24. at 8 p.m. ET.

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