Past homophobic tweets force Hart out of Oscars
LOS ANGELES— Kevin Hart has stepped down as host of the 2019 Oscars.
After he claimed he was pressured by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to apologize for past homophobic comments, the comedian announced on Thursday night his decision to step away from hosting this year’s ceremony.
“I have made the choice to step down from hosting this year’s Oscars,” Hart said on Twitter. “This is because I do not want to be a distraction on a night that should be celebrated by so many amazing talented artists. I sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past.”
Hart had previously revealed on Instagram that the Academy was demanding he apologize for tweets that had resurfaced after it was announced earlier this week that he would host the ceremony.
Critics pointed out that the comedian had a history of making homophobic remarks (which he reportedly started deleting after the Oscars announcement).
“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 in a video posted on Instagram. “I chose to pass. I passed on the apology.”
In that same post, Hart insisted that he had already “addressed this several times” and that he had “moved on.” He added that he was refusing to bow to any “internet trolls.”
Hart had urged people to “stop searching for reasons to be angry” in an even earlier post on Thursday.
“Our world is becoming beyond crazy. I’m not going to let the craziness frustrate me or anger me especially when I worked hard to get to the mental space that I’m at now,” Hart said in the earlier Instagram video. “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.”
He added in the caption: “If you want to search my history or past and anger yourselves with what you find that is fine with me.”
In one of his Thursday statements, Hart emphasized how people “live” and “learn” and “grow” and “mature” over the years rather than directly address any of his past comments.
“I’m in a great place,” Hart said. “A great mature place where all I do is spread positivity.”
Comedian Kevin Hart was slated to host the 2019 Oscars, but has stepped down after old homophobic comments on Twitter have resurfaced.