HART-FELT NEED TO STEP DOWN

The Courier-Mail - - NEWS - LY­DIA PEDRANA

CO­ME­DIAN Kevin Hart touched down in Syd­ney yes­ter­day and found him­self em­broiled in a gay-hate storm that has forced him to sen­sa­tion­ally quit the Os­cars.

The US funny man quit the high-pro­file gig at the glam­orous awards cer­e­mony less than 48 hours af­ter be­ing named as host, af­ter a furore over ho­mo­pho­bic jokes he made in 2009 and 2010 erupted on­line.

In two videos filmed in Syd­ney, Hart ini­tially told his 66 mil­lion In­sta­gram fol­low­ers he would not apol­o­gise for jokes he made years ago and now recog­nises were in­ap­pro- pri­ate – and ac­cused the Os­car’s or­gan­is­ers of giv­ing him an ul­ti­ma­tum that he do so.

But the star then posted a series of tweets apol­o­gis­ing to the LGBTQ com­mu­nity for “in­sen­si­tive words from my past”.

Hart was taken to task on­line for say­ing dur­ing a 2010 live show: “One of my big­gest fears is my son grow­ing up and be­ing gay.”

In 2001 tweets that have since been deleted, Hart ac­cused an­other ac­tor of look­ing “like a gay bill­board for AIDS” and used deroga­tory words for gay peo­ple. The comic tweeted that he did “not want to be a dis­trac­tion on a night that should be cel­e­brated by so many amaz­ing tal­ented artists”.

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