Kevin Hart Recalls Meaningful Talk with Wanda Sykes amid His Controversy Over Past Homophobic Jokes

"It was presented to me in a way where I couldn't ignore that," Hart said in a sit-down with Anderson Cooper for the most recent episode of '60 Minutes'

<p>Jon Kopaloff/Getty; Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic</p> Kevin Hart (left) in Los Angeles on July 12, 2022; Wanda Sykes in in Hollywood on March 27, 2022

Jon Kopaloff/Getty; Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Kevin Hart (left) in Los Angeles on July 12, 2022; Wanda Sykes in in Hollywood on March 27, 2022

Kevin Hart is reflecting on the invaluable perspective Wanda Sykes once gave him as he faced controversy over homophobic jokes he made in the past.

During a conversation with Anderson Cooper for 60 Minutes, which aired in full on Sunday, April 21, the 44-year-old actor and comedian said Sykes, 60, helped him experience "the best light bulb ever" when it came to "understanding" the issue.

"Wanda Sykes said, 'There's people that are being hurt today because of comments like the ones that you made then, and there's people that were saying it's okay to make those comments today based off of what you did then,' " Hart told Cooper, 56.

"It was presented to me in a way where I couldn't ignore that. So in those moments of despair, great understanding and education can come out of it if you're given the opportunity," he added.

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from celebrity news to compelling human-interest stories.

Related: Kevin Hart Insists He’ll Never Host the Oscars After Controversy: ‘I Don’t Need That’

Back in 2018, Hart stepped down from hosting the Academy Awards after his years-old homophobic comments were resurfaced, sparking controversy.

While he refused to apologize at first, he eventually did, saying in a post on X (formerly Twitter), " I sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past."

“I’m sorry that I hurt people.. I am evolving and want to continue to do so," Hart added in a follow-up post on X. "My goal is to bring people together not tear us apart. Much love & appreciation to the Academy. I hope we can meet again."

In a recent interview for WSJ Magazine's Men's Spring 2024 Fashion issue, the Jumanji: The Next Level star said the controversy was "a come-to-Jesus moment" for him.

“Sometimes it’s okay to take a step back and to be educated. I got a crash course," Hart explained. "It was one that was necessary and needed."

<p>Robin L Marshall/WireImage</p> Kevin Hart in Los Angeles on Aug. 23, 2022

Robin L Marshall/WireImage

Kevin Hart in Los Angeles on Aug. 23, 2022

Related: Kevin Hart Looks Back on Oscars Controversy and Resurfaced Homophobic Remarks: 'I F---- Up'

Last month, Hart accepted the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor in Washington, D.C., where he told reporters that he was "overwhelmed with emotion by the support" he has received.

"[I’m just feeling] excitement and just the feeling of being humbled at the fact that I would be in the association of those in comedy," said Hart, who was named the 2024 honoree in November 2023. "I hope that, in years to come, I’ll look back at this historic moment for me."

The Mark Twain Prize is awarded annually to "individuals who have had an impact on American society in ways similar" to Mark Twain/Samuel Clemens, per the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Among the past recipients is Adam Sandler, who took home the honor last year.

“You can’t buy support. You can’t fake that," Hart said onstage at the Kennedy Center as he accepted the award on March 24. "It means so much to me to see the people I’d show up for show up for me."

"I fell in love with something I could do for the rest of my life," he added of his career, after thanking his family and his four kids. "I committed to comedy. I fell in love with something I can grab onto. All my eggs are in this basket and oh my God, I’m happy with my choice.”

For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read the original article on People.