Several days after it was announced that he would host the 2019 Academy Awards, Kevin Hart has decided to step down.
In a tweet posted just after midnight on Friday, December 7, the comedian tweeted his decision to relinquish his hosting duties, which follows backlash against Hart over past anti-LGBTQ tweets, and his initial Instagram responses which some critics called unsatisfactory.
“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 tweeted. “I sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past.”
On Tuesday, Hart announced on Instagram that he was hosting the Oscars. Shortly after, Benjamin Lee, an editor at The Guardian, wrote a piece on Wednesday saying, “Hart has a rather vile history of documented homophobia, ranging from offensive stand up clangers to dumb interview statements to puerile tweets to a whole embarrassing film filled with it.”
Some of the tweets included using the word “f–” and using “gay” as a pejorative.
“I wonder when Kevin Hart is gonna start deleting all his old tweets 🤔🤔🤔,” Lee tweeted.
On Thursday, BuzzFeed News reported that some of the tweets were missing from Hart’s feed.
“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,'” read one of the allegedly deleted tweets.
The backlash against the tweets was swift, and Hart’s initial responses on Instagram, which did not include an apology, further exacerbated the angry response.
Comedian Billy Eichner responded to Hart’s Instagrams asking for “a simple, authentic apology showing any bit of understanding or remorse.”
After the apology and announcement that Hart would no longer host, Eichner tweeted that he appreciated the gesture. “And apology accepted. That’s all.”
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