Earlier this week, the Academy Awards announced that comedian Kevin Hart would host the Oscars this year. Many people objected to the appointment and highlighted Hart’s recorded history of homophobic tweets.
Throughout this week, Hart rebuffed any criticism, telling critics to “stop searching for reasons to be angry”. It was not until last night that Hart finally issued an apology as he announced that he is stepping down from the hosting gig.
The comedian tweeted:
“I 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 the night that should be celebrated by so many amazing artists. I sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past.”
I 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.
— Kevin Hart (@KevinHart4real) December 7, 2018
He then added:
“I am 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 and appreciation to the Academy. I hope we can meet again soon.”
The apology undermines points made by Hart in an Instagram video, in which told people to “stop looking for reasons to be negative, and to stop searching for reasons to be angry.”
View this post on Instagram
Stop looking for reasons to be negative…Stop searching for reasons to be angry….I swear I wish you guys could see/feel/understand the mental place that I am in. I am truly happy people….there is nothing that you can do to change that…NOTHING. I work hard on a daily basis to spread positivity to all….with that being said. If u want to search my history or past and anger yourselves with what u find that is fine with me. I’m almost 40 years old and I’m in love with the man that I am becoming. You LIVE and YOU LEARN & YOU GROW & YOU MATURE. I live to Love….Please take your negative energy and put it into something constructive. Please….What’s understood should never have to be said. I LOVE EVERYBODY…..ONCE AGAIN EVERYBODY. If you choose to not believe me then that’s on you….Have a beautiful day
Later that day, in a separate video, Hart revealed that the Academy instructed him to either apologise for his comments, or they would rescind the offer to host. Hart claimed that he would not apologise as he feels he had addressed the issues in the past.
Finally, Hart offered an apology as he announced he would be stepping down from the role.
The comedian was being held accountable for tweets published between 2009 and 2011 in which he repeatedly used homophobic slurs and derogatory language.
In January 2011 Hart tweeted:
“Yo, if my son comes home & try’s [sic] 2 play with my daughter’s doll house I’m going to break it over his head & say n my voice ‘stop that’s gay’”.
Kevin Hart made similar comments in previous skits. In his 2010 film Seriously Funny Hart said:
“One of my biggest fears is my son growing up and being gay. Keep in mind, I’m not homophobic. Be happy, do what you want. But [sic] me, as a heterosexual male, if I can prevent my son from being gay I will.”
An insider from the Academy criticised the organisation’s decision to appoint Kevin Hart in the first place, telling Buzzfeed News:
“I think they were late hiring a producer and rushed to hire a host without doing due diligence. The Academy doesn’t learn. They desperately need to hire a very experienced senior PR person (who would have vetted this). The team there is not equipped.”
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