Ellen DeGeneres has been facing some rare and serious backlash on Friday after the daytime talk show host revealed during a new interview with Kevin Hart that she had personally called the Academy to convince them to reinstate the comic as host of this year’s Oscars. But she also has some defenders over at Fox & Friends.
After the Fox News morning show reported the story, Brian Kilmeade defended Hart for “taking a stand” when old homophobic tweets and jokes of his resurfaced last month after he had been announced as host. The Academy gave hart a chance to apologize but he initially refused, deciding instead to relinquish the opportunity.
“For Ellen to tell him, I want you to go do it, I think he goes and does it,” Kilmeade added, excitedly.
“I think she’s right,” guest host Jedediah Bila chimed in. “I hope he does do it, honestly.”
“Political correctness pushed back!” Kilmeade exclaimed.
During their interview, which will air in full on Friday afternoon, DeGeneres declined to interrogate the motives behind Hart’s previous comments, instead joining him to denounce the “haters” and repeatedly making the case for why he should be unreservedly forgiven. “Don’t pay attention to them,” she said of his critics. “You can’t let them destroy you,”
Later on Fox & Friends, when the hosts returned to the topic, Steve Doocy praised The Ellen DeGeneres Show as a “terrific show” and applauded the host for taking it upon herself to go to bat for Hart despite his history of homophobia.
Given that only a small percentage of Hart’s tweets were “anti-gay” and he seems to have “evolved” since, Kilmeade—like DeGeneres—faulted the “trolls” for trying to “destroy” the comedian’s career. After reminding Fox viewers that DeGeneres “is a lesbian,” he too commended her for calling the Academy, saying, “I think it would be an important thing for him to go back to do it.”
“You can’t condone this new pattern of people scrolling through somebody’s Twitter feed, looking for something to try to ruin their entire career,” Bila added. “Somebody has to be able to come forward, apologize, change, show some growth and be able to move on with their careers. So it’s not just about him that they do this to, they do this to a number of people. And the more you give into it, the more you condone and enforce this kind of madness.”
Kilmeade ended by saying that Hart’s “power and success” make him “the type of person who could end the political correctness that is destroying, perhaps in many cases unjustly, careers.”