Kevin Hart Bows Out As Host Of 2019 Oscars Amid Controversy Over Anti-Gay Tweets : NPR

Kevin Hart, seen attending the NFL Honors ceremony in February. Simply a few days after he was introduced as host of the subsequent Oscars, the comic mentioned he can be stepping down amid a firestorm over his previous tweets.

Christopher Polk/Getty Photos


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Christopher Polk/Getty Photos

Kevin Hart, seen attending the NFL Honors ceremony in February. Simply a few days after he was introduced as host of the subsequent Oscars, the comic mentioned he can be stepping down amid a firestorm over his previous tweets.

Christopher Polk/Getty Photos

Simply days after Kevin Hart received the nod to host the 91st Academy Awards ceremony, declaring it “the chance of a life time,” the comic is relinquishing the microphone. Hart introduced that he’s stepping down, citing his sequence of years-old homophobic tweets that had lately resurfaced.

He made the choice as a result of he didn’t “need to be a distraction on an evening that needs to be celebrated by so many wonderful gifted artists,” Hart mentioned in a pair of tweets. “I sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ neighborhood for my insensitive phrases from my previous.”

“I am sorry that I harm folks,” he added. “I’m evolving and need to proceed to take action. My objective is to deliver folks collectively not tear us aside. A lot love & appreciation to the Academy. I hope we will meet once more.”

The announcement caps a curler coaster week for the movie star and stand-up comedian, who was first celebrating the high-profile gig simply a few days in the past.

“I’m blown away just because this has been a objective on my record for a very long time,” he mentioned Tuesday afternoon. “To have the ability to be part of the legendary record of [hosts] which have graced that stage is unbelievable.”

However that elation didn’t final lengthy earlier than it turned laced with controversy.

Benjamin Lee, an editor at The Guardian, instantly expressed his disappointment with the choice and shortly pointed to a cluster of old tweets that had been directed harsh phrases towards the homosexual neighborhood.

“Yo if my son comes residence & strive’s 2 play with my daughters doll home I am going 2 break it over his head & say n my voice ‘cease that is homosexual,’ ” reads one tweet that Hart posted in 2011.

That wasn’t the one one. Different customers dredged up a number of posts relationship again practically a decade, by which Hart spoke of homosexual folks negatively and used an anti-gay slur.

“Hart’s obsession with making unfunny, disrespectful and inappropriate jokes a few neighborhood he has proven nothing however bile for together with a string of unrepentant responses to any criticism paints him as somebody solely undeserving of a spot on the Oscars stage,” Lee argued Wednesday.

The controversy solely ballooned from there on social media, and by Thursday afternoon, Hart responded to it in two movies posted to his Instagram account.

“My staff calls me, ‘Oh my God, Kevin, the world is upset about tweets you probably did years in the past,’ ” he mentioned within the first, rubbing his face in evident frustration. “Guys, I am nearly 40 years outdated. When you do not imagine that folks change, develop, evolve as they become old, I do not know what to let you know.”

Within the second, posted only a few hours later, he mentioned he had gotten a name from the Academy of Movement Image Arts and Sciences, the group behind the Oscars, requesting that he apologize for his tweets.

“I handed on the apology. The explanation why I handed is that I’ve addressed this a number of instances. This isn’t the primary time this has come up. I’ve spoken on it. I’ve mentioned the place the rights and wrongs have been. I’ve mentioned who I’m now versus who I used to be then,” he mentioned. “I am not going to proceed to return and faucet into the times of outdated once I’ve moved on and I am in a very completely different area in my life.”

“I am grateful and appreciative of the chance,” he added. “But when it goes away, no hurt, no foul.”

Shortly afterward, Hart introduced he was stepping down.

The Academy didn’t instantly provide public touch upon the state of affairs. This 12 months’s Oscar nominees are anticipated to be introduced on Jan. 22, whereas the ceremony is scheduled for Feb. 24.

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