Kevin Hart has opted to “pass” on apologizing for homophobic comments he made in the past, even if it means losing his gig as host of the 2019 Oscars.
Hart shared in an Instagram video on Thursday night that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences called him to demand a mea culpa, in the wake of Buzzfeed reporting that the actor and comedian had begun deleting some of his more offensive tweets, including this one from 2011: “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.’”
“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,'” Hart says in the video below. “I chose to pass. I passed on the apology.”
“The reason why I passed,” he continued, “is because I’ve addressed this several times…. I’ve spoken on it, I’ve said where the rights and wrongs were, I’ve said who am I am now versus who I was then, I’ve done it. I’ve done it. 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 those finding those old tweets could be…. put into finding the response to the questions that have been asked, years after years after years after years,” he argues.
“We feed the Internet trolls and we reward them. I’m not gonna do it, man. I’m gonna be me, I’m gonna stand my ground,” he said in closing. “Regardless, Academy, I’m thankful and I’m appreciative of the opportunity [to host]. If it goes away, no harm, no foul.”
Shortly after Tuesday’s announcement that Hart had been tapped to host the 91st Academy Awards on Feb. 24, his homophobic twitter past came under new scrutiny. Hart attempted to quell the swelling controversy on Thursday afternoon by releasing a statement many viewed as being half-hearted at worst and tone deaf at best.
“Stop looking for reasons to be negative,” he wrote on Instagram. “Stop searching for reasons to be angry… 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.”