Comedian was planning to address how "we're so sensitive," and says he wouldn't change anything in how he's handled the controversy.
The star of "The Upside" dropped by the "Late Show" where he reiterated that he was over it multiple times in a rather definitive tone before revealing some of what he was planning for the Oscars.
"The way I was going to start if off, it actually goes hand in hand with what’s going on now, is just we’re so sensitive," he said. "The whole reason why I was gonna host the Oscars was to take the tension out of the room."
As the comedian sees it, the Oscars audience is the worst possible audience in the world because they're all perfectly dressed, uptight and nervous about what's going to happen. "Everybody's waiting for their moment," he said.
"So I was gonna say, relax. Relax," Hart continued. "The one thing you don’t want to become is a meme. That’s what you don’t want to be. A meme will end your career, and I was gonna show previous memes."
He would then proceed through several celebrity memes, including Nicole Kidman's "boomerang hands" clapping picture and Meryl Streep looking like she's booing. "That wouldn’t have happened if it was a relaxed moment," he said of those viral captures.
"The whole intent behind them would be that you don’t want to be that, so relax, loosen up, have a good time," he concluded. "Then I was gonna go into a bunch of crazy bits. I had so much stuff. It was gonna be fire. It was gonna be amazing."
Honestly, it doesn't sound like he's quite as over it as he said he was, rather he was making sure we knew what we were going to miss out on. But nevertheless he was absolutely not going to back down from his latest stance of being over it and done talking about it. And over it.
Unable to completely ignore the elephant in the room, Colbert kicked off the interview by reading a quote from Hart's appearance on "Good Morning America" earlier in the day where he said he was over it and had nothing more to say about it and would say nothing more about it.
"That was me. I said that," Hart agreed. Then laughing, he added, "You're gonna ask something."
But Colbert had a different take and a unique question to ask, rather than beat a horse that has clearly stopped moving in any direction. "Is there anything about the way you've handled this situation over the last month that you would go back and change?" he asked.
"No, I wouldn't change anything," Hart said, much to Colbert's strongly-expressed surprise.
"Really?" Colbert asked multiple times. "Because you didn't apologize at first and then later you apologized."
Hart seemed to sidestep that statement, though, responding, "I, right now, this is me, I'm over it. I'm just over it. It's an onion, so no matter how many times you keep peeling it, it's just endless. If you keep peeling it, it just doesn't stop. There is no end to it.
"Like, I apologized. I apologized again. I said I apologized before. I apologized after that apology. It just keeps going ... I'm done. I did it. I'm over it. There is no more that I can do." With all of those apology examples, he completely failed to express the fact that he did not apologize at first, as Colbert pointed out.
He has, though, apologized multiples times since then, which is what Colbert was getting at. Would he not have at least gotten in front of it and apologized first rather than the defiant stance he took when his homophobic tweets and jokes were first resurfaced?
To Colbert's even greater surprise, this statement by Hart was met with applause from his audience. Colbert said that in his experience these types of things aren't usually over until the audience is over it, but Hart wasn't buying that argument at all.
"Here's the difference," he said. "You can continue to live to please others or you can have a position where you know that you've literally done what you can to try to please. At that moment, when you know that you've given your all to try to please and it's still not received, you have to make a decision to go, 'I'm done trying to please.'"
Once again, the audience gave Hart their applause when he declared that this was where he's at. He's honest, he's authentic and he's over it, he said. He's done. Colbert seemed uncomfortable and dissatisfied leaving it there, but what could he do, so he moved on.
And the public response is interesting because it seems to be in direct contrast to the perceived response to Hart's handling of this situation since the beginning, at least as far as social media is concerned.
That said, Ellen's audience also applauded both the host and comedian when he appeared on her show and she begged him to come back and host the Oscars, only for both to be raked over the coals on social media when the episode aired and the general public got a look at it.
This latest interview will likely do nothing to further endear Hart to his detractors, nor will it alienate him from his supporters. He's become a political issue at this point. Everyone is entrenched in their views, and since he won't change his, they're unlikely to change theirs.
As for the Oscars, the plan is for them to go hostless on February 24.
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