Kevin Hart has announced that he will no longer be hosting the 2019 Oscars ceremony.
On Thursday night, the comedian-actor took to Twitter to issue an apology to the LGBTQ community for past “insensitive words” and to confirm he will not be a “distraction” at the Oscars.
The apology and step-down follow an outcry after homophobic comments and tweets from the Ride Along and Jumanji star resurfaced.
On Tuesday December 4, Hart—who is currently performing in New Zealand—revealed that he would host Hollywood’s prestigious Oscars ceremony in February 2019.
“I am so happy to say that the day has finally come for me to host the Oscars,” he wrote.
“I am blown away simply because this has been a goal on my list for a long time.”
A significant number of Hart’s tweets from between 2009 to 2011 promptly flooded the internet, in which he had used homophobic slurs and derogatory language.
In a tweet from 2011, among some that have been deleted, Hart said: “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’.”
A video from a 2010 standup special also resurfaced; where Hart delivers an entire standup routine based on the fear his three-year-old son would be gay.
This led people to criticize the Academy’s decision to make him host.
On Thursday, Hart addressed the situation by posting a video of himself to Instagram that did not feature an apology.
Instead, he said: “Our world is becoming beyond crazy, and I’m not going to let the craziness frustrate me.” The post’s caption read: “I am truly happy people … there is nothing that you can do to change that … NOTHING.”
Hours later, he posted yet another Instagram video, detailing that he had received a call from the Academy telling him to apologize or be removed as host.
“I chose to pass, I passed on the apology. The reason I chose to pass is because I’ve addressed this several times. This is not the first time this has come up, I’ve addressed this. 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.”
By Thursday night however, Hart had posted an apology.
“I have made the choice to step down from hosting this year’s Oscars,” he wrote.
“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.
“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 and appreciation to the Academy. I hope we can meet again.”
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
Among those to question the backlash is Nick Cannon, who reposted old tweets from female comics Amy Schumer, Sarah Silverman, and Chelsea Handler, which all feature similar slurs.
So, who will host the Oscars now?