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Speaking with Willie Geist for an interview that will air on NBC’s Sunday Today, the comedian said Hart will be just fine after he stepped down as host of the Oscars following the resurfacing of old tweets deemed homophobic. Hart had previously addressed the tweets and later apologized anyway.
“Kevin is in a position, because he is a brilliant comedian, to kind of decide what he wants to do,” Seinfeld said. “He doesn’t have to step down. But he can.”
He continued, “And when you look at the situation — well, who got screwed in that deal?”
Numerous stars and other comics have also defended Hart.
“I think Kevin is going to be fine, but find another Kevin Hart: That’s not so easy,” Seinfeld said of the Academy’s predicament. “He’s a brilliant guy with a movie career.”
A replacement host has yet to be named.
Comedians are expected to be the most “agile” when it comes to jokes and interactions in general, Seinfeld told Geist.
“We have been navigating these slalom gates forever,” he explained. “Look, when I started out, there were dirty comedians — well, if you want to get on The Tonight Show, you can’t use any of those words. And a lot of us went, ‘OK. I still want to play. I’ll play.’ Here’s a new rule, we’re cutting this out. ‘OK, I’ll get around that.’ So, that’s our thing. It’s like Lindsey Vonn: Wherever you put the gates, I’m going to make them.”
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