Kevin Hart will not be hosting the 2019 Academy Awards after all, after intense controversy surrounding previous homophobic remarks he made on Twitter between 2009 and 2011. The tweets came back to life this week after it was announced that Hart was hosting the awards show.
On Thursday, he first addressed it in an Instagram video, saying, “My team calls me, Oh my god Kevin, the worst is upset by tweets you did years ago. Guys, I’m almost 40 years old. If you don’t believe that people change, grow, evolve as they get older, I don’t know what to tell you. If you want to hold people in a position where they always have to justify, explain their past, then do you. I’m the wrong guy, man. I’m in a great place, a great mature place where all I do is spread positivity. If you’re not doing that, you’re not on my page.”
Hart then posted a second video later on Thursday, saying that the Academy had given him an ultimatum — either apologize for the comments or the hosting gig would not be his. In the video, he says, “I passed on the apology. This is not the first time this has come up. I’ve addressed it. I’ve spoken on it. I’ve said where the rights and wrongs were. The same energy that went into finding those old tweets could be the same energy put into finding the response to the questions that have been asked years after years after years.”
It appeared that without issuing the apology, Hart was accepting the Academy’s ultimatum to step down and be replaced. Hart then posted a third time early Friday morning, confirming he stepped down. He tweeted, “I have made the choice to step down from hosting this year’s Oscars. This is because I do not want to be a distraction on a night that should be celebrated by so many amazing talented artists.” Things must’ve changed a bit, however, in Kevin’s mind, because he also indeed finally gave a new apology. He tweeted, “I sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past.”
It remains to be seen who will now replace him for the upcoming February awards telecast.