Hart quits as Oscars host over anti-gay tweets
Just two days after being named host of the Academy Awards, Kevin Hart stepped down following an outcry over past homophobic tweets by the comedian.
Capping a swift and dramatic fallout, Hart wrote on Twitter early Friday that he was withdrawing as Oscars host because he didn’t want to be a distraction.
“I sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past,” wrote Hart.
Hart, who is in Australia for a comedy tour, also tweeted Friday morning: “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. Martin Luther King, Jr.”
Earlier Thursday evening, the comedian had refused to apologize for tweets that resurfaced after he was announced as Oscars host on Tuesday. In a video on Instagram, Hart said the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences gave him an ultimatum: Apologize or “we’re going to have to move on and find another host.”
“I chose to pass on the apology,” Hart said. “The reason why I passed is because I’ve addressed this several times.”
Hart has since deleted some of the anti-gay tweets, mostly dated from 2009 to 2011. But they had already been screen-captured and shared online. In an earlier post Thursday, Hart wrote on Instagram that critics should “stop being negative” about his earlier antigay remarks.
“I’m almost 40 years old. If you don’t believe that people change, grow, evolve? I don’t know what to tell you,” said Hart, who added, in all-caps: “I love everybody.”
The Recording Academy announced that Kendrick Lamar is the top contender with eight nominations, including seven for his musical companion to “Black Panther.”