Kevin Hart Steps Down as Oscars Host Over Resurfaced Homophobic Tweets

Actor-comedian Kevin Hart was announced as host for the 91st annual Academy Awards on Wednesday. Only two days later, he stepped down.

After outcry over homophobic tweets and disparaging remarks about sexuality that surfaced on Twitter between 2009 and 2011, Hart announced that he will no longer be hosting the Academy Awards.

In a video he posted to Instagram, Hart said the Academy called him and asked him to either apologize for the resurfaced tweets or step down as host.

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

In his caption for the video, Hart wrote, “Stop looking for reasons to be negative…Stop searching for reasons to be angry… I am truly happy people… there is nothing you can do to change that…” He went on to write, “I LOVE EVERYBODY… If you choose not to believe me then that’s on you.”

Hart’s caption caused backlash, with many angry over his choice to only defend himself and not apologize to or mention the LGBTQ+ community. Comedian Billy Eichner tweeted in response to the caption, “This is not good. A simple, authentic apology showing any bit of understanding or remorse would have been so simple.”

Hart took to his Twitter just after midnight on Friday to announce that he was officially stepping down as host. “I sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past,” Hart wrote. “I’m sorry that I hurt people… I am evolving and want to continue to do so.”

Hart has since deleted the controversial tweets, but they are still being shared online. In one tweet from 2011, he said, “Yo if my son comes home & trys to play with my daughters doll house I’m going 2 break it over his head & say n my voice “stop that’s gay.”

Hart has been known for pushing boundaries on numerous occasions. In his 2010 stand-up special “Seriously Funny,” Hart said that “One of my biggest fears is my son growing up and being gay. That’s a fear. Keep in mind, I’m not homophobic… But me, as a heterosexual male, if I can prevent my son from being gay, I will.”

In an interview with Rolling Stone in 2015, Hart addressed the bit. “I wouldn’t tell that joke today, because when I said it, the times weren’t as sensitive as they are now,” he said. “I think we love to make big deals out of things that aren’t necessarily big deals.”

The Academy of Motion Picture Art and Sciences has not yet announced who will replace Hart as host.