Movies & TV / News

Kevin Hart Steps Down as Oscars Host After Initially Refusing to Apologize For Old Anti-LGBTQ Comments

December 7, 2018 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Kevin Hart

Kevin Hart has stepped down as host of the 91st annual Academy Awards after initially refusing to apologize for old anti-gay comments. Hart posted to Twitter to announce that he decided to step down in order to avoid “be[ing] a distraction on a night that should be celebrated by so many amazing talented artists.”

The move comes less than forty-eight hours after Hart was announced as host of the ceremony, which takes place on February 24th. Soon after Hart announced he would be hosting the show, a backlash began over homophobic posts he had made to Twitter in previous years. Hart had deleted some of his more offensive tweets in the last couple of days, in which he used offensive slurs and included posts such as “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 posts were dated from 2009 through 2011. The outrage calls back to the criticism levelled at James Gunn over pedophilia and rape-related jokes the Guardians of the Galaxy director had made from 2009 through 2012, which cost Gunn his job directing Guardians of the Galaxy 3.

Hart had initially posted a message to Instagram responding to the controversy in which he said, “Stop looking for reasons to be negative. Stop searching for reasons to be angry. I swear I wish you guys could see/feel/understand the mental place that I am in. I am truly happy people… there is nothing that you can do to change that. NOTHING. I work hard on a daily basis to spread positivity to all… with that being said if you want to search my history or past and anger yourselves with what u find that is fine with me. I’m almost 40 years old and I am in love with the man I’m becoming. You LIVE and YOU LEARN & YOU GROW & MATURE. I live to love. Please take your negative energy and put it into something constructive. Please. What’s understood should never have to be said. I LOVE EVERYBODY… ONCE AGAIN EVERYBODY. If you choose to not believe me then that’s on you. Have a beautiful day.”

He later, just an hour before he stepped down, posted to his Instagram account and said that he had been given an ultimatum by the Acadamy to apologize or step down, saying, “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.”

This leaves the award show without a host for the time being, although the search for a replacement is surely on.