Posted by on January 4, 2019 12:37 pm
Categories: µ Newsjones

Jeff Kravitz/Getty

Ellen DeGeneres has one of the most powerful platforms in show business. It’s a platform that is hers to do what she wants with, and one that she takes seriously and uses responsibly. So for the life of me, I can’t imagine how or why she used it to make a pitch for the Oscars to take Kevin Hart back, less than a month after the comedian resigned under pressure from his gig as host after past homophobic jokes resurfaced.

The “incredible and honest conversation,” as DeGeneres teased at the end of Thursday’s show, is being rushed to air Friday. (Excerpts of the conversation have already been released.) The host said she wanted to hurry the interview because she didn’t want the audience to wait any longer to hear what Hart had to say. It’s also, speaking a bit cynically, because she really, really wants Hart to be allowed to host the Oscars again. A former host herself, she probably knows that the closer the awards ceremony gets, the more likely the Academy is to pick another replacement.

DeGeneres has called the Academy herself to ask them to rehire Hart, she says on her show. She tells us they still desperately want him, and would do whatever it takes to make it happen. DeGeneres took that as marching orders, it seems, to use her show as the greatest crisis management opportunity a star could ask for and pretty much assumed a one-woman position as Oscars hiring committee, whether or not she even has the authority. You’ll finish watching the interview Friday under the assumption that the ball is in Hart’s court as to whether he wants to take the job back.

Read more at The Daily Beast.