A couple of hours after refusing to apologize for his old homophobic tweets, Kevin Hart has announced he’s stepping down as host for the 91st Academy Awards.
Hart took to Twitter on Thursday to explain that he doesn’t want to be a distraction at the Oscars, hence, his decision. He also finally apologized to the LGBTQ community.
The comedian/actor tweeted:
“I have made the choice to step down from hosting this year's Oscar's....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.”
In a follow-up tweet, Hart expressed hope that he’ll get to host the Oscars someday:
“I'm sorry that I hurt people.. I am evolving and want to continue to do so. My goal is to bring people together not tear us apart. Much love & appreciation to the Academy. I hope we can meet again.”
A few hours before, Hart had insisted he would not apologize after revealing that the Academy reached out to him for an apology regarding homophobic tweets from the past.
In an Instagram video captioned: “I know who I am and so do the people closest to me,” the “Jumanji” actor said:
"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. …I chose to pass. I passed on the apology.”
“The reason why I passed is because I’ve addressed this several times. This is not the first time this has come up. I’ve addressed it. I’ve spoken on it. I’ve said where the rights and wrongs were. I’ve said who I am now versus who I was then,” he continued.
Despite stating that he’s “appreciative” and “thankful” of the opportunity to host the Academy Awards, Hart maintained:
“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. The same energy that went into finding those old tweets could be the same energy put into finding the responses to the questions that have been asked years after years. We’re feeding the internet trolls and we reward them. I’m not going to do it, man. I’m going to be me and stand my ground.”
The tweets in question go as far back as 2009 when Hart joked about another man having pictures of him [Hart] on his phone and used a derogatory word for gay men. Most of the tweets have since been deleted, but ABC13 reports one posted in 2011. Hart had written:
“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.’”
The “Night School” producer addressed the tweets in an initial Instagram video, saying:
“If you don’t believe that people grow, change, evolve as they get older, I don’t know what to tell you. If you want to hold people in a position where they always have to justify or explain their past, then do you. I’m the wrong guy, man. I’m in a great place, a great mature place where all I do is spread positivity. If you’re not doing that, you’re not on my page.”
Hart confirmed his role as host for the Awards on Tuesday night, describing it as the “opportunity of a lifetime.” The 39-year-old father-of-three is also no stranger to courting controversy.
Only last month, he and his wife, Eniko Hart, were dragged online for throwing a Cowboys-And-Indians- themed birthday party for their son's first birthday.
Meanwhile, the Academy is yet to respond to Hart’s decision on this latest issue.
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