FILE - In this Dec. 11, 2017 file photo, Kevin Hart arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” in Los Angeles. Hart will host the 2019 Academy Awards, fulfilling a lifelong dream for the actor-comedian. Hart announced Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018, his selection in an Instagram statement and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences followed up with a tweet that welcomed him “to the family.”Jordan Strauss / Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Kevin Hart steps down as Oscars host after outcry over old tweets

Hart stepped aside just about an hour after refusing to apologize for tweets made between 2009-2011

Just two days after being named host of the Academy Awards, Kevin Hart stepped down following an outcry over past homophobic tweets by the comedian.

Capping a swift and dramatic fallout, Hart wrote on Twitter just after midnight Friday that he was withdrawing as Oscars host because he didn’t want to be a distraction. “I sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past,” wrote Hart.

READ MORE: Actor-comedian Kevin Hart to host 2019 Oscars

Hart stepped aside just about an hour after refusing to apologize for tweets that resurfaced after he was announced as Oscars host on Tuesday. In a video on Instagram, Hart said the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences gave him an ultimatum: apologize or “we’re going to have to move on and find another host.”

“I chose to pass on the apology,” Hart said. “The reason why I passed is because I’ve addressed this several times.”

The film academy didn’t respond to messages Thursday evening.

Hart has since deleted some of the anti-gay tweets, mostly dated from 2009-2011. But they had already been screen-captured and been shared online. In 2011, he wrote in a since-deleted tweet: “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.”

In an earlier post Thursday, Hart wrote on Instagram that critics should “stop being negative” about his earlier anti-gay remarks.

“I’m almost 40 years old. If you don’t believe that people change, grow, evolve? I don’t know what to tell you,” said Hart, who added, in all-caps: “I love everybody.”

Hart’s attitudes about homosexuality were also a well-known part of his stand-up act. In the 2010 special “Seriously Funny,” he said “one of my biggest fears is my son growing up and being gay.”

“Keep in mind, I’m not homophobic, I have nothing against gay people, do what you want to do, but me, being a heterosexual male, if I can prevent my son from being gay, I will,” Hart said.

GLAAD, the advocacy group for LGBTQ rights, said Thursday that it reached out to Oscars broadcaster ABC, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences and Hart’s management to “discuss Kevin’s anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and record.”

Comedian and actor Billy Eichner said “a simple, authentic apology showing any bit of understanding or remorse would have been so simple.”

It’s not the first time an Oscars host has been derailed by anti-gay remarks. Ahead of the 2012 Academy Awards, producer Brett Ratner, who had been paired with host Eddie Murphy, resigned days after using a gay slur at a film screening. Murphy soon after exited, as well.

That year, a tried-and-true Oscars veteran — Billy Crystal — jumped in to save the show, hosting for his eighth time. This time, speculation has already been rampant that few in Hollywood want the gig, for which few win glowing reviews.

The film academy moved up this year’s ceremony to Feb. 24, giving producers little time to find a replacement.

The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Three arrests on guns, drug charges after shots fired in Oliver

Two men from Penticton involved in arrests at Oliver home with assault rifles and drugs

Okanagan School of the Arts evicted from Penticton’s Shatford Centre

The school faced massive revenue loss during the COVID-19 pandemic

Penticton RCMP express concern over allowing public drinking

RCMP said they expressed their concern to the city but will do their best ensure safety

Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen pre-approves temporary expanded patios during COVID-19 pandemic

Blanket pre-approval granted to all licensees within regional district’s boundaries

WATCH: North Okanagan golf cart stolen, then returned

Homeowners have footage of two men taking the cart and then bringing it back

Highway 1 closed after body found near Hope

Coroners Service reportedly on the scene, highway has been closed for 10 hours in both directions

Feds get failing grade for lack of action plan on anniversary of MMIWG report

‘Instead of a National Action Plan, we have been left with a Lack-of-Action Plan’

Oyama Zipline Adventure Park opening for the season

The Lake Country zipline is scheduled to open on June 12

COLUMN: Is parliament essential?

We need time to dig into the books and ensure that taxpayers are being respected

Sicamous RCMP catch driver going twice the speed limit

The car was impounded for seven days and the driver received a hefty fine

No criminality in the 2019 death of woman found on Kelowna beach

Caitlin was found deceased on Gyro Beach on April 21, 2019

Transport truck driver walks away from serious crash on Highway 1

Driver won’t be charged regarding incident near Pritchard

Okanagan resort ready to sparkle post COVID-19

Sparkling Hill ready to reopen following more than two months of being closed

Most Read