Os­cars host Hart stands down over ho­mo­pho­bic com­ments

The Guardian - - NATIONAL - Kate Lyons

The co­me­dian Kevin Hart has an­nounced he is step­ping down as host of next year’s Os­cars cer­e­mony fol­low­ing an out­cry over per­ceived ho­mo­pho­bic com­ments and tweets.

Hart posted an apol­ogy to the LGBTQ com­mu­nity on Twit­ter yesterday for his past “in­sen­si­tive words” and con­firmed he would not take on the gig, so as not to be a “dis­trac­tion”.

“I have made the choice to step down from host­ing this year’s Os­cars,” wrote Hart, who as well as be­ing a standup co­me­dian is the star of films in­clud­ing Ride Along and Ju­manji.

“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.”

Just hours ear­lier, Hart, who is cur­rently in Aus­tralia, posted a video to In­sta­gram say­ing he had re­ceived a call from the Acad­emy telling him to apol­o­gise or he would be re­moved as host.

In the video, Hart said he would not apol­o­gise. “I passed on the apol­ogy. The rea­son I chose to pass is be­cause I’ve ad­dressed this sev­eral times, this is not the first time this has come up… I’m not go­ing to con­tinue to go back and tap into the days of old when I’ve moved on and I’m in a com­pletely dif­fer­ent space in my life.”

It was an­nounced on Tues­day that Hart would host the Os­cars cer­e­mony in Fe­bru­ary 2019, which is con­sid­ered one of the most pres­ti­gious but dif­fi­cult jobs in show­busi­ness. “I am blown away sim­ply be­cause this has been a goal on my list for a long time,” Hart wrote on his In­sta­gram page.

Hart would have been one of a few black Os­car hosts in the event’s his­tory, af­ter Chris Rock, Whoopi Gold­berg, Richard Pryor and Sammy Davis Jr.

How­ever, the choice quickly prompted a back­lash af­ter a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of Hart’s tweets in which he used ho­mo­pho­bic slurs were re­posted on Twit­ter. A video from a 2010 standup spe­cial in which Hart de­liv­ered an ex­tended joke based on the fear his young son would be gay also resur­faced.

Kevin Hart would have joined a small club of black hosts that in­cludes Chris Rock and Whoopi Gold­berg

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.