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Oscars welcome return of Kevin Hart as host if he wants it: Report

In this file photo taken on September 24, 2018, actor Kevin Hart arrives for the premiere of 'Night School' in Los Angeles, California. | FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

In this file photo taken on September 24, 2018, actor Kevin Hart arrives for the premiere of 'Night School' in Los Angeles, California. | FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

Late Friday, Variety reported that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as well as the ABC television network are “open” to Kevin Hart’s return as host of the Oscars telecast, if the actor/comedian says the word.

In the exclusive report, Variety pointed to “an insider close to the event” as the source of the news, adding that “the message could come through a spokesperson or on social media, where Hart maintains an active presence on Instagram and Twitter.”

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Kevin Hart says he’s reconsidering Oscars hosting gig

Hart — who stepped down from his role as emcee of the Oscars telecast following an outcry on social media after several homophobic tweets dating from 2011 re-surfaced in December — appeared on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” Friday afternoon, during which he apologized for the tweets. DeGeneres revealed she called the Academy to ask them to reconsider Hart for hosting duties.

As of Friday, at the Academy had no frontrunners to replace Hart on the telecast, which airs live on Feb. 24.