Just two days after announcing on his Instagram that he would be hosting the 2019 Academy Awards, Kevin Hart has stepped down from the role, following public backlash over his past homophobic comments. Hart made the announcement on Twitter late Thursday night, while also apologizing to the LGBTQ community, saying,
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.— Kevin Hart (@KevinHart4real) December 7, 2018
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.— Kevin Hart (@KevinHart4real) December 7, 2018
Hart originally took to his Instagram Tuesday announcing that after years of being asked to host the Oscars, the time has finally come.
While the initial response was full of love and support, unfortunately for Hart, it wasn't long before his past comments came to haunt him.
I was asked the most amazing question from my kids today on the phone....they said "Dad why don't you get mad when people talk about you on the internet" ...my answer was "I never see that stuff because I'm to busy being happy & loving you 2"— Kevin Hart (@KevinHart4real) December 6, 2018
I then explained to them that it's hard to know what angry things people are saying when you stay away from the places that angry people love. I said angry people love the internet... so use it only when necessary and spend the rest of ur time enjoying life.— Kevin Hart (@KevinHart4real) December 6, 2018
Hart responded to the backlash Thursday with a video, stating, "I swear, man. our world is becoming beyond crazy. And I'm not gonna let the craziness frustrate me, or anger me, especially when I've worked hard to get to the mental space that I am at now. My team calls me, 'Oh my god, Kevin. The world is upset by tweets you did years ago.' My god. Guys – I'm almost 40 years old. If you don't believe that people change, grow, evolve as they get older, I don't know what to tell you. If you wanna 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 later posted an update saying that the Academy had called him with an ultimatum. “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.’"
Ultimately, Hart stated that he "chose to pass... on the apology," because he's already addressed his past tweets several times, and that he's moved on to a completely different place in his life, which, we now know is not on the Oscar stage."The same energy that went into finding those old tweets, could be the same energy put into finding the response to the questions that have been asked years after years after years," said Hart in the video. He continued, "We feed into internet trolls and we reward them. I'm not gonna do it, man. I'm gonna be me, and I'm gonna stand my ground. Regardless, Academy, I'm thankful and appreciative of the opportunity. If it goes away, no harm no foul."