Last month, Nick Cannon added his voice to the chorus of support for Kevin Hart, who decided to step down as the host of the 2019 Oscars following the backlash he received after his old homophobic tweets surfaced.
Hart appeared on the Ellen Show Friday to promote his new movie The Upside, and during the interview, the talk show host revealed that she called the Academy to advocate for him to host the awards. Cannon responded to the interview by praising Ellen for showing love to his friend and colleague.
“That’s dope,” Cannon, 38, tells PEOPLE. “I love Ellen and she definitely is one of the bosses in the game. When one of the bosses calls for you, that’s always a good look. She’s an entertainment guru that’s been doing it for a long time that we all respect.”
Hart opened up on the daytime talker about what he felt was a “malicious attack on my character” and noted that he would reconsider taking the Oscar hosting job should it be offered to him.
“If he does do it, in my opinion, it’d be solely just because he wanted to. But he definitely doesn’t need to,” Cannon says. “I know he doesn’t need to, and that’s one of the reasons I commended the stance he took. He sincerely apologized, but it wasn’t to keep a job. You never want to hurt anyone’s feelings, but you’re not going to be forced or told to do something just for occupation or for money.”
When the controversy over the offensive tweets first erupted, Cannon defended Hart by posting homophobic tweets from female comedians Chelsea Handler, Amy Schumer and Sarah Silverman.
“I have nothing but respect and admiration for their talent and who they are,” Cannon explains. “It wasn’t trying to point fingers. I was kind of like, who’s been in a similar situation and how was this handled? I was pointing out some selective outrage and hypocrisy that we often engage in, but it wasn’t to do a witch hunt on anyone.”
Cannon hasn’t “had any real conversations” with the women he called out, but says he’s “looking forward to them.”
“It was like, hey look, we’ve all made mistakes,” he says. “We’ve all said and done ignorant things as comedians and entertainers — myself included — but if we’re going to be upset, let’s be upset about the process and society’s approach and not just point out individuals.”