The Oscars are just under two months away and, as of right now, no host has been found to replace Kevin Hart.
While his interview with 'Ellen' seem to open up the possibility of him returning, Hart spoke on the issue in an interview with Variety where he unequivocally stated that he wouldn't host the ceremony.
On the Playback Podcast, Hart explained that the issue is "done," and added that there was no "ill will" towards the Academy.
"The moment came and it was a blessing and I was excited at the opportunity and I still am. In my mind I got the job, it was a dream job, and things came up that simply prohibited it from happening. But I don’t believe in going backwards," said Hart.
The comedian, who's been under fire for jokes and comments he made about the LGBT community earlier in his career, explained that "(when) I go on that stage, it will be because I’ve somehow figured out a way to win the Oscar. Somehow I’ll get to the stage but it’s not going to be in this way because it just comes with such a weird cloud at this point."
Yet, just hours after recording the podcast, Hart went on 'Ellen' and appeared to do a 180-turn on the topic, saying that he was now "evaluating" his decision. Hart claims he's already apologised for his comments, yet neither Vulture nor CNN have been able to find any evidence of said apologies.
On top of of all that, the Academy - via an unnamed source to Variety - have said that they are open to having Hart return as host if he wants, with producers apparently struggling desperately to find a replacement host. After CNN anchor Don Lemon gave an emotional plea to Hart to consider his position and become an ally of the LGBT community, Hart responded with an Instagram post on the topic of growth.
Deadline has since posted a story this morning where they have it that Kevin Hart has again turned down the gig, saying that this is apparently his final answer. Currently, the situation is that the Oscars will have no host and will instead simply move from category to category without one.
The ceremony takes place on February 25th.