In the era of #Oscarssowhite, moviegoers are holding their awards show host to the same standard as an elected official. We just refuse to let the year Lady Gaga receives her first Oscar to be the year someone with a homophobic past hosts the Academy Awards!
Kevin Hart has just announced that he's stepping down from his hosting duties for the 91st awards show after some of his old, insensitive tweets resurfaced -- including the use of several homophobic slurs and one tweet that detailed how he'd abuse his son if he played with dolls. It appears that Hart tried to delete several of those tweets, but the damage had already been done.
\u201cAfter seeing this @benfraserlee tweet, I did a search for every time Kevin Hart tweeted "fag," "homo," or "gay." It was\u2026a lot. And he seems to have basically stopped tweeting those words after 2011 \u2014 i.e. the year his first stand-up movie became a hit. https://t.co/P8nTOilFgx\u201d
On Thursday afternoon, Hart posted a video to Instagram, explaining that his team reached out to him over the backlash from the tweets. "Guys, I'm almost 40 years old," he said in the video. "If you don't believe that people change, grow, evolve as they get older, I don't know what to tell you." Hart's lack of apology in the video was apparent, as the whole situation seemed more of an inconvenience to him than an actual chance to "change, grow, evolve."
A few hours later, he posted another video, explaining that he'd received a call from the Academy about the tweets. "That call basically said, 'Apologize for your tweets of old or we're gonna have to move on and find another host.' I chose to pass. I passed on the apology." He went on to explain that he'd addressed the tweets (but didn't delete them) before, and he doesn't feel the need to do so again.
"We feed into internet trolls and reward them," he said. "I'm not gonna do it, man." To be clear, the "internet trolls" he's referring to are LGBTQ+ people and allies (including Billy Eichner and Jamie Lee Curtis) upset with a public figure and host of the gayest night of the year using anti-gay slurs. If that's his response to the Academy's ultimatum, then good riddance.
Hart later posted two tweets that apologized for offending the LGBTQ community. But in the same tweets, he officially announced he was stepping down from his hosting duties a mere day after he was given the role -- it appears the Academy has not released an official statement.
\u201cI 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.\u201d
\u201cI'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 & appreciation to the Academy. I hope we can meet again.\u201d