Ellen DeGeneres is facing criticism after clips of her upcoming interview with Kevin Hart surfaced on social media, apparently showing her support for the actor.
Hart, 39, stepped down from hosting the 2019 Academy Awards amid controversy over years-old tweets deemed homophobic.
He announced last month he was dropping the offer and issued an apology to the LGBTQ community for his “insensitive words” from the past.
DeGeneres defended Hart against those who criticized the comedian for his past comments.
Clips of Hart’s interview with DeGeneres were released on Thursday and social media users had mixed feelings about the discussion.
Actor Harry Cook slammed DeGeneres for defending Hart.
“I can think of at least 50 openly gay up and coming comedians who deserve your awesome platform more than d----e canoe Kevin [Hart] and his blatant push for the Oscars gig,” Cook tweeted. “His recent Instagram tirade is proof of how un-sorry he is.”
“Hi Ellen, I think you’re a cool lady. Have for a while now. But this? This ain’t it,” a social media user tweeted. “Kevin’s attacks were geared towards black, gay men. That being said, you have no authority to forgive him on behalf of a section of the community you don’t belong to.”
“Love you Ellen, but on this one disagree with you,” a tweet read.
Some people defended DeGeneres for having a conversation with Hart.
“And I believe in Ellen,” another social media user tweeted. “So I’m on board, let’s let Kevin Hart host the Oscars. The past is the past and people can evolve.”
“Don’t listen to the haters Kevin Hart. Don’t let them win this. I think you’re great and you should host the Oscars!” a tweet read.
DeGeneres said she called the Academy too because she really wanted to see Hart host.
“We want him to host, whatever we can do, we’d be thrilled,” DeGeneres said the Academy told her in a phone call. “The Academy is saying, ‘What can we do to make this happen.’”
The host told Hart not to listen to the “haters out there.”
"But for you to be the bigger man, for you to say, 'I understand,' and to not pay attention,” DeGeneres told Hart. “There are so many haters out there. Whatever is going on in the internet, don't pay attention to them. That's a small group of people being very, very loud. We are a huge group of people who love you and want to see you host the Oscars."
Hart told DeGeneres he was “evaluating” retaking the hosting position.