Oscars host steps down over gay slurs
The organisers of the Oscars are searching for a new host after the comedian who had accepted the job a few days ago announced that he was stepping down over homophobic remarks he had made on Twitter.
Kevin Hart decided to quit yesterday after he received a phone call from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, asking that he apologise for comments he made several years ago.
His dismissal was lamented by gay and lesbian campaign group GLAAD, which said it had hoped that his ‘‘evolving’’ mindset might have become a ‘‘teachable moment’’ broadcast to millions.
The comments were found and highlighted after Hart’s appointment as Oscars host.
‘‘Yo if my son comes home & try’s 2 play with my daughters doll house I’m going 2 break it over his head & say n my voice ‘stop that’s gay’,’’ he said in one tweet from 2011 that has since been deleted. In others, he insulted his detractors as ‘‘fags’’.
Hart, who is touring Australia, said the academy had told him to ‘‘apologise for your tweets of old or we are going to find a new host’’.
He initially said that he had apologised for the remarks in the past and had since changed his thinking. He seemed unwilling to offer another apology.
‘‘This has come up and I have spoken on it,’’ he said in a video on Instagram. ‘‘I have said what the rights and wrongs were.’’
Hart argued that the reporters who had unearthed the comments could have devoted the same time to finding his apologies. He added: ‘‘I’m not going to continue to go back and dip into the days of old.’’
To apologise again would be to ‘‘feed the internet trolls and reward them’’, he said. ‘‘I’m not going to do it, man. I’m going to be me and I’m going to stand my ground.’’
Hart later issued a statement on Twitter, announcing that he was stepping aside, and offering a full apology.
Hart had celebrated his appointment as host of the Oscars as ‘‘the opportunity of a lifetime’’. He said one of his enduring career goals had been to join the list of entertainers who had walked the stage of the Dolby Theatre, where the Oscars have been held since 2002. ‘‘I know my mom is smiling from ear to ear right now.’’
GLAAD president Sarah Kate Ellis said her group had been in contact with Hart’s representatives, hoping that the story of his reformation could be used to help the gay community.
‘‘I have said what the rights and wrongs were.’’ Kevin Hart
Comedian Kevin Hart said being chosen as host of the Academy Awards was ‘‘the opportunity of a lifetime’’, but homophobic remarks he made on Twitter have come back to haunt him.