One day after his controversial, Oscars-centric interview with Ellen DeGeneres, Kevin Hart is going on the defensive.
In an Instagram post on Saturday, the embattled comedian addressed the backlash that has stemmed from his Q&A with DeGeneres, in which DeGeneres revealed that she personally contacted the Academy and recommended that Hart be reinstated as Oscars host.
“When did we get to the point where we forgot that we all learn, then we all have the ability to grow and with that growth comes a wealth of knowledge,” Hart wrote. “You can’t change without a [sic] understanding of what GROWTH means… Please grasp this and use it in 2019.”
During Hart’s interview on Ellen Friday, DeGeneres had acknowledged the homophobic Twitter jokes that led Hart to step down from hosting the Oscars in December, after he had refused to apologize for the resurfaced posts. But DeGeneres relegated Hart’s critics to the “haters” category, telling him, “That’s a small group of people being very loud. We’re a huge group of people who love you and want to see you host the Oscars.”
Hart told DeGeneres that he felt “trolls” were responsible for the “attack on [his] character” that led him to step back from the hosting gig, adding that he doesn’t have a “homophobic bone in [his] body.”
Both Hart and DeGeneres quickly became targets of criticism after the interview aired: Hart’s apology was viewed by many as insincere, while others were disappointed in DeGeneres, a member of the LGBT community, for using her platform to support Hart.
CNN journalist Don Lemon delivered an emotional message to Hart on Friday’s CNN Tonight broadcast, saying, “This is the time to hear other people out, to understand why they might have been offended. And I don’t see any meaningful outreach to the LGBT community.”
Read Hart’s full Instagram message below, then drop a comment with your thoughts.