×

Bob Iger Has Been ‘Open-Minded’ About Kevin Hart Returning as Oscar Host if He Apologizes

Disney chief Bob Iger has tried to stay “open-minded” about the possibility of Kevin Hart hosting the Feb. 24 Oscar telecast on ABC after all, but he’s not holding his breath.

The controversy surrounding Hart and the questions about whether the Oscar telecast will try going host-less this year was the talk of the red carpet at Sunday’s Golden Globes. Iger indicated that he has been following the issue but has stayed out of the decision-making process.

“Based on what I’ve heard and what I’ve read, (Hart) didn’t want to subject himself to more of the criticism he’s already received,” Iger told Variety on the Globes red carpet. “I think we just have to accept that outcome.”

Hart was unveiled as Oscar telecast host on Dec. 4 — after publicly lobbying for the gig — but dropped out two days later amid condemnation from LGBT activists and others about old Twitter messages and jokes that were widely deemed homophobic and offensive.

Hart has said he withdrew because he objected to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences’ mandate that he publicly apologies for the sentiments in those years-old tweets. Hart maintains that he has apologized in the past — a point disputed by his detractors — and that people should be afforded the opportunity to “learn” and grow” over time.

Even with all the debate spurred by Hart’s selection, Iger would have been OK with seeing Hart take the helm so long as he also expressed some kind of apology for past hurtful statements.

“If you’re asking me whether I would have accepted him actually him doing it, the answer is yes, provided that he showed a little bit of contrition for some of the things he said a while back,” Iger said. “I was open-minded about it.” 

Although he’s the big boss of all things under the Disney umbrella, Iger said he’s leaving the decision about the Oscar host to AMPAS and ABC. “I don’t have any bright ideas,” he said. “I’m sure they’ll find someone or someones.”

Iger hopes the issue will be settled by the time the nominations for the 91st annual Academy Awards are released on Jan. 22. “I’m sure they’ll make a decision soon,” he said.

More Film

  • Cuba Gooding Jr

    Cuba Gooding Jr. Sued for Allegedly Pinching Nightclub Server

    A Tao nightclub server who alleges that Cuba Gooding Jr., pinched her rear-end last year has sued the Oscar-winning actor for sexual battery. Natasha Ashworth had previously come forward to New York law enforcement, though her name had not been released publicly. Gooding was indicted last week on four misdemeanor counts, including two counts stemming [...]

  • Taika Waititi Natalie Portman SDCC 2019

    Natalie Portman Weighs in on 'Thor: Love and Thunder's' Possible Breast Cancer Storyline

    Natalie Portman doesn’t know if “Thor: Love and Thunder” will include a breast cancer storyline for her character Jane Foster, but she’s definitely intrigued by the possibility. “It’s just very rare that these kinds of big entertainment films look at more serious, real-life issues,” she told Variety at L.A. Dance Project’s 8th annual fundraising gala [...]

  • Luxbox Closes Sales on Venice Film

    Luxbox Closes Sales on Venice Film 'Sole' to U.S., France (EXCLUSIVE)

    Fiorella Moretti and Hedi Zardi’s Paris-based sales agency Luxbox has closed several territory deals on Carlos Sironi’s “Sole,” which screened in Venice Film Festival’s Orizzonti section and Toronto Film Festival’s Discovery sidebar. The film just won the audience award at Pingyao Intl. Film Festival in China and a Special Jury Mention for the lead actors [...]

  • Puerto Rican singer Ozuna poses during

    Ozuna Joins Vin Diesel in 'Fast & Furious 9'

    Ozuna, one of Latin music’s fastest-rising stars, has signed with UTA for representation. And to kick off the relationship, the agency has landed him a role in “Fast & Furious 9.” He is also in talks to join the film’s soundtrack. Justin Lin, who directed “Fast & Furious 6,” returns to direct the ninth installment [...]

  • Writers vs Agents Packaging War WGA

    Writers Guild Boosting Efforts in Project Development Amid Agency Standoff

    The Writers Guild of America, locked in a six-month standoff with major talent agencies, has announced that it’s boosting efforts at gathering TV, streaming and film project development data to help members find new employment opportunities. The WGA made the disclosure in a message to members on Monday. The guild directed its 15,000 members to fire [...]

  • Fernando Meirelles The Two Popes

    AFI Fest Adds 'The Two Popes,' 'Aeronauts,' Alan Pakula Tribute

    The American Film Institute has added “The Two Popes” and “The Aeronauts” as galas during the upcoming AFI Fest along with a tribute to the late director Alan Pakula. AFI had previously announced that the romantic drama “Queen & Slim” would launch the 33rd annual festival on Nov. 14 and close with the world premiere [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content