Kevin Hart ...still
After all of the drama, Hart might still take on the gig. Just this morning, a new wrinkle emerged: Ellen DeGeneres released clips of Hart's recent appearance on her daytime talk show on her Twitter with the note, "I believe in forgiveness. I believe in second chances. And I believe in @KevinHart4real."
On the show, DeGeneres offered Hart a platform to explain himself, in which he argued that he had apologized previously (though that's debatable) and stepped down so as to avoid making the night all about him. DeGeneres followed that up by telling her audience that she called the Academy to rehire her friend, and that the Academy responded, "We want him to host, whatever we can do, we would be thrilled and he should host the Oscars." Her crowd roared in approval. Together, DeGeneres and Hart went on to characterize the resurfacing of near decade-old tweets as an "attack" perpetrated by "trolls." Of course, that's an overstatement, considering the tweets were surfaced by Guardian editor Benjamin Lee and amplified largely by concerned members of the LGBTQ community on Twitter, not "trolls" out to destroy a celebrity.
DeGeneres' actions seem like a coordinated effort to set the stage for Hart's return, but whatever the plan was in doing that, it's not going over very well.
Update: Deadline reported January 5 -- the night before the Golden Globes -- that Hart is apparently not going to be back.
Update #2: Hart has apparently said his last word on the subject. When he appeared on Good Morning America January 9 to promote his movie The Upside, he said point blank that he would not host, adding that he would not have time to prepare.