The CNN host says that Hart reached out to him over the weekend, but was not interested in appearing on Lemon's show to discuss this issue further.
After Don Lemon called out Kevin Hart and Ellen DeGeneres on Friday for Hart's latest apology for past homophobic tweets and jokes, the CNN anchor said the comedian called him over the weekend.
While the majority of their conversation was off the record, Lemon was nevertheless able to address the generalities of their conversation, and respond to comments Hart made earlier in the day on his Sirius XM show. One of those comments that stood out for Lemon was Hart's response to his call for the comedian to become an ally of the LGBTQ community.
"I Don't like the forcing. Don Lemon goes on CNN you can fix this become an ally. That's not my life dream," Hart said on his show.
"Now, you can take that however want," Lemon said after playing the clip. "You can be upset by it. However you want to feel. But that is his right. Whether I like it or not, whether you like it or not, that is his right."
And while he did not back down on criticism of Hart presenting himself as a victim of an attack against him by resurfacing those old tweets and jokes, he did call the LGBTQ community to be sure and check themselves and their responses.
"If we don't want to be bullied, we can't be bullies," he said. "You don't want to turn into what you're fighting against. So hold to account, call them out, but you don't want to bully people. I might get a lot of blowback for that, but I'm just being honest."
But he does think Hart may be a little more in touch with the LGBTQ experience than even he realizes, even if Lemon isn't ready to call him a victim over this.
"Listen to what he's saying there. He wants to be accepted. He wants us to accept him. He wants to be embraced on his own merits. Isn't that what the LGBT community wants?" Lemon asked.
He also acknowledge that Hart has apologized, and he did so again on his radio show Monday night. "Look, you may not like the way he said it ... but he said it there. He did say, 'I'm sorry, I apologize, we shouldn't be doing this.'"
Hart emerged on Friday with Ellen DeGeneres where the daytime host pleaded with him to return as Oscars host. She argued that she knew he wasn't the same person who made those tweets and jokes a decade ago, while the talked about how he felt this was an orchestrated attack to ruin his career.
He further said that he'd resisted apologizing again because he'd addressed the tweets and jokes multiple times in the past decade. But while both comedians might have thought this move would help soothe the nation, an immediate backlash occurred instead within the LGBTQ community.
Hart told DeGeneres he would consider her words and contemplate returning as Oscars host -- the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has yet to announce a replacement for the February 24th event -- but the response to that appearance and ongoing debate probably isn't offering any further clarity.