Chelsea Handler is the latest comedian to defend Kevin Hart after he stepped down from hosting the 91st Academy Awards amid backlash surrounding his homophobic Twitter history.
This week on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen, a caller asked the 44-year-old comedian about “the whole Kevin Hart Oscars debacle” and if she thinks “comedians should be held accountable for what they’ve said or tweeted in the past.”
“I don’t think so,” Handler replied. “I mean, I honestly respect what Kevin Hart did. I love Kevin, I know him personally, and I think he’s a great guy. And I honestly think we’ve all made mistakes.”
“I’ve said things that are deplorable that I would never say again,” the Life Will Be the Death of Me author continued. “You can’t just hold people to the fire for things that went on–we all evolve, and we all grow up, and we all get it, now we understand this isn’t allowed.”
Hart repeatedly made anti-gay comments in a series of tweets between 2009 and 2011, threatening his son with violence if he caught him playing with dolls, and insulted various celebrities by calling them “gay” or “fag.” He quit the Oscars gig in December.
“I sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past,” Hart eventually wrote on social media. “I am evolving and want to continue to do so.” The entertainer initially failed to issue a public apology, telling people to “stop looking for reasons to be angry.”
Cannon actually defended Hart by sharing old tweets from Handler, Amy Schumer, and Sarah Silverman that used homophobic language.
Handler was slammed last year for her seemingly homophobic tweets implying that Sen. Lindsey Graham, a notorious conservative, is gay.
While Ellen DeGeneres also rushed to Hart’s defense and asked the Academy to rehire the comedian, CNN news anchor Don Lemon, noting that 44% of homeless gay youth are black and were likely kicked out of their homes, called on the comedian to become an ally to the LGBTQ community.
Hart then responded with another apology on his SiriusXM radio show but said that it is “not his dream” to be an LGBTQ ally.
The Oscars were held without a replacement host.
Watch the WWHL clip below.