Some argue it could be a "teachable moment," while others say he needs to do more to prove he's changed.
Kevin Hart's appearance on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" on Friday was the topic of the day on "The View," where the cohosts debated whether it was all enough to get him back as host of the Oscars and whether DeGeneres was "betraying the gay community" by defending him.
"What we're going to get to see on stage with you hosting the Oscars is sophistication, class, hilarity and you growing as a person," Ellen told Hart on Friday's show. "There are so many haters out there, whatever's going on on the internet, don't pay attention to them."
"I think she's speaking for herself and a lot of times when you speak and you're a latino, you're this, you're that, people get mad because they think you're representing," guest Ana Navarro said this morning. "I think Ellen DeGeneres wants to see Kevin Hart host the Oscars."
But Behar wasn't feeling it, saying she had a whole list of other people who could host the show -- people like Adam Sandler, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Steve Martin -- before comparing the situation to Brett Kavanaugh.
"It reminds me of when Kavanaugh got into the Surpreme Court and it was like, is he the only one you could possibly find in this country to do that job?" she asked. "It's similar to that in a way."
ELLEN CALLS ACADEMY ON HART’S BEHALF: The co-hosts discuss Kevin Hart saying he's rethinking his decision to step down as host of the 2019 Oscars after his interview with Ellen DeGeneres, who reached out to the Academy on his behalf. https://t.co/2RP9vErUVf pic.twitter.com/Y9p7atew0r— The View (@TheView) January 4, 2019
Abby Huntsman then said she thought Hart's initial apology was "sort of a non-apology," before defending Ellen's choice to use her platform to "speak her mind." She also hoped that if Hart does end up hosting, he uses the situation as a "teaching moment," something Sunny Hostin also agreed with.
"I was very disappointed when I learned about all these homophobic slurs that he had made, especially as a black man, as a person of color," Hostin explained. "The black community has been so targeted by bias and racism and prejudice for so long, you would think he would be an ally to the LGBTQ community. As targeted people, we have to be allies to other targeted people."
"My understanding is that he has apologized, he has evolved in his position and I do wonder when is a person allowed to evolve, when is a person allowed to become an ally?" she then asked. "I think he should be allowed to become an ally, I would like to see him become the host of the Oscars and use that opportunity on a big scale to become that ally and I hope that he's allowed that opportunity."
Meghan McCain, however, thought Hart needed to do a little more before all is forgiven. Saying Ellen, of all people, should know how hard it can be to come out, McCain criticized Hart for his "jokes" about beating up his son if he came out as gay.
"I think he needs to come out and say I was wrong, that was ignorant, we have people that are killing themselves and committing suicide," she continued. "He hasn't said any of that. Being LGBT and young in this country, especially in places where I'm from and the middle of the country, isn't always easy. I think if you want to make it a teachable moment, go out there and make it a teachable moment."
Adding that she's never one to buy into "mob mentalities" herself, McCain said that, for her, "Kevin Hart's apology hasn't really come up to snuff yet."
McCain closed the conversation by saying that she's "not against" Hart still hosting, but hopes that if he does, he "comes out and says, 'Learn from your mistakes, grow.'" She added, "if he comes out vociferously apologizing then everybody deserves a second chance."