Kevin Hart will no longer be hosting the 2019 Academy Awards.
It was just yesterday that the comedian and actor, who is currently on tour in Australia, had been announced as the host of the 91st Academy Awards. It didn’t take long before that was being put into question. Past homophobic tweets had resurfaced. Oh, the timing.
So, here’s what went down. He was announced as Oscar host and a number of tweets that he had made close to ten years ago started to make the rounds. According to Deadline, one such tweet read, “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.'” There was also a comment he made on a person’s profile pic, saying it was “like a gay bill board for AIDS.” There were reportedly many more tweets that were homophobic in nature.
Hart’s first response was to post a video to Instagram that shared his thoughts on those bringing up his past tweets, saying that people needed to “stop looking for reasons to be negative.”
“Guys, I’m almost 40 years old,” Hart said. “If you don’t believe that people change as they get older, I don’t know what to tell you.”
He later followed it up with another video, saying that the Academy had called him and told him to “apologise for your tweets of old or we’re going to have to move on to find another host.” Hart said he “chose to pass on the apology.”
“The reason I passed is because I’ve addressed this several times. […] The same energy that went into finding those tweets can be put into finding the response to the questions that have been asked years after years after years. We’re feeding Internet trolls and we reward them. I’m not going to do it, man.”
Hart concluded this second video post by telling the Academy, “I’m thankful and appreciative for the opportunity. If it goes away, no harm, no foul.”
Well, he did end up apologising – with an announcement that was stepping down as host.
“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,” Hart posted on Twitter. “I sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past.” He added: “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.”
It’s a disappointing turn of events. Now we just wait to see who the Academy chooses as Hart’s replacement.