Kevin Hart may host the 91st Academy Awards after all.
Less than a month since Hart, 39, announced he was stepping down from the role after declaring he would not apologize for his past homophobic comments, The Academy is considering asking him back, a source tells PEOPLE.
“There has been a steady stream of buzz that things might work out between Kevin and the Academy,” the source explained.
“The Academy never really axed him — they wanted him to apologize — he wouldn’t, and then he was the one to drop out.”
Later, however, Hart did apologize, which the insider says left “a lot of people at the Academy scratching their heads because he did what they wanted him to do so really he didn’t need to quit in that case.”
“Everyone has noticed that it’s not like the Academy just pivoted to someone else; Kevin is clearly well aware that the job is still wide open. But meanwhile, he has needed to do his own clean-up work in terms of his image after all of this,” the insider continued.
The source then explained Hart has been “making the rounds,” apologizing publicly on a number of talk shows. “It’s all they ever wanted him to do, and he’s doing it in spades. So now he should be able to come back on his own terms,” the source tells PEOPLE.
The news of Hart potentially getting the gig back comes after Ellen DeGeneres revealed she had an “incredible and honest conversation” with the Night School star on her daytime show about the Oscars controversy.
The actor is also expected to appear on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
“It all hinges on how well he does these apologies,” the insider explained. “In the end, if the shows are good, it’s pretty much his to take again, if he wants it.”
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DeGeneres tweeted the news on Thursday night and revealed she was airing the episode early.
“I had an incredible and honest conversation with @KevinHart4real about hosting the #Oscars,” DeGeneres tweeted. “It was supposed to air on Monday. I don’t want you to have to wait, so now it’s gonna air tomorrow.”
Hart also announced his appearance and called the interview “the most raw/honest & authentic interview that I have ever done.”
A representative for Hart or The Academy did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request to comment further.
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