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Ellen DeGeneres talks the Academy into rehiring Kevin Hart, causing Twitter trolls to turn on her

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Hart said he would think about it. "It's tough for me because it was ... a malicious attack on my character, to end me."

Image source: YouTube screenshot

Ellen DeGeneres has come to the defense of comedian Kevin Hart, saying he should be able to host the Oscars in spite of recent backlash over tweets that resurfaced from years ago. But the same trolls who caused Hart to back out of the awards show turned on DeGeneres for accepting Hart's apology to the LGBT community.

What are the details?

Last month, Hart stepped away from hosting the 91st annual Academy Awards ceremony after being accused of homophobia over years-old comments for which he had already publicly apologized.

In an interview Thursday, DeGeneres told Hart on her talk show that she had reached out to the Academy and asked if they would still be willing to have Hart emcee their ceremony if he reconsidered his decision.

"They were like, 'Oh my God! We want him to host...whatever we can do, we would be thrilled, and he should host the Oscars," she said, the Washington Examiner reported.

Hart said he would think about it, responding, "It's tough for me because it was an attack, a malicious attack on my character, to end me."

But, he told DeGeneres, "Leaving here, I promise you I'm evaluating this conversation. Let me assess, just sit in the space and really think, and you and I will talk before anything else."

DeGeneres went on to encourage Hart to not let Twitter trolls keep him from what he's called "the opportunity of a lifetime."

"They're gonna win if you don't host the Oscars," DeGeneres told him. "You can't let them destroy you and they can't destroy you because you have too much talent. That's why they [The Academy] haven't found another host. I think they were secretly hoping that you would come back."

What's so wrong with that?

When clips of the interview were released on Friday, online critics weren't having it. The Hollywood Reporter said DeGeneres faced "backlash," citing several tweets from Twitter users pelting DeGeneres with insults for giving Hart a pass.

BuzzFeed film reporter Adam Vary searched Hart's entire Twitter feed for gay slang and re-posted several of the comedian's past comments online Dec. 5. Hart backed out of hosting the Oscars the next day, after initially accepting the role just 48 hours prior.

On Friday, Vary — who has repeatedly criticized Hart since — went on a Twitter tirade, taking offense that DeGeneres would tell Hart to defend himself against "haters."

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