Kevin Hart's history of homophobic tweets costs him Oscars hosting gig

Kylie Mar
Host & Producer, Yahoo Entertainment

Just two days after announcing on his Instagram that he would be hosting the 2019 Academy Awards, Kevin Hart has stepped down from the role because of public backlash to homophobic comments he made in the past.

Hart made the most recent announcement on Twitter late Thursday, while also apologizing to the LGBTQ community:

Hart had originally taken to his Instagram Tuesday, saying that the time had finally come for him to host the Oscars.

While the initial response was one of  support, it wasn’t long before Hart’s previous comments came back to haunt him.

Hart answered the outrage with a video Thursday, stating: “I swear, man, our world is becoming beyond crazy. And I’m not gonna let the craziness frustrate me or anger me, especially when I’ve worked hard to get to the mental space that I am at now. My team calls me. ‘Oh my god, Kevin. The world is upset by tweets you did years ago.’ My god. Guys – I’m almost 40 years old. If you don’t believe that people change, grow, evolve as they get older, I don’t know what to tell you. If you wanna hold people in a position where they always have to justify or explain their past, then … I’m the wrong guy, man. I’m in a great place. A great, mature place, where all I do is spread positivity. If you’re not doing that, you’re not on my page.”

The comedian later posted an update saying that he had been given an ultimatum.

“I just got a call from the Academy, and that call basically said, ‘Kevin, apologize for your tweets of old or we’re going to have to move on and find another host.’”

Hart said he “chose to pass … on the apology” because he has addressed his former tweets several times and is now in a different place in his life — which evidently does not include the Oscars stage.

“The same energy that went into finding those old tweets could be the same energy put into finding the response to the questions that have been asked years after years after years,” said Hart in the video. “We feed into internet trolls, and we reward them. I’m not gonna do it, man. I’m gonna be me, and I’m gonna stand my ground. Regardless, Academy, I’m thankful and appreciative of the opportunity. If it goes away, no harm no foul.”

The 91st Academy Awards will air Feb. 24, 2019, on ABC.

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