In his Monday night broadcast, the anchor challenged the comedian to make an appearance on the show, noting that he’d already rejected the offer.
“I did ask Kevin, by the way, to come onto the show to talk multiple times, many times during our conversations texting him, but he said he’s not interested,” Lemon said.
Speculating as to why Hart turned him down, Lemon wondered: “Maybe he just didn’t want to go there. I don’t know.
“Maybe you’re scared, Kevin. Are you scared of me? Don’t be scared. Come on, I’m not going to be mean.”
Pausing, Lemon then said, “I know he’s not going to like that.”
The challenge was cut from the end of the CNN clip above, however, Lemon can be heard responding to Hart’s apologies.
Earlier that day, Hart again issued his mea culpa on his SiriusXM radio show, “Straight From the Hart,” emphasizing that while he could empathize with the LGBT community, it wasn’t his “life dream” to become an ally as Lemon previously suggested.
“I understand why people are hurt,” Hart said. “I understand what these words mean. I’m sorry. I’m sorry.”
Lemon revealed on air that the two had spoken for more than an hour over the phone, followed by some texting in a mostly off-the-record conversation so that Hart could speak his mind.
While Lemon defended Hart’s not wanting to become an LGBT advocate as “his right” and “his choice as an American, a person with agency,” he added that the community would “have to march on without him.”
Hart’s renewed apology come after he recently received praise from talk show host Ellen DeGeneres about what she felt was his growth as a person despite his past mistakes.