The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences announced on Tuesday that popular comedian and actor Kevin Hart would host the 2019 Academy Awards show, an announcement that Hart proudly heralded on social media as an “opportunity of a lifetime” and something that had been a “goal on my list for a long time.”
But just two days later, Hart was out. After an outcry arose over insensitive tweets and comments the comedian made years ago, Hart eventually was forced to issue an apology and announced that he would step down as Oscars host, saying he did not want to be a “distraction.”
Ultimatum from the Academy
Hart initially refused to issue an apology for the offensive tweets, dating back to 2009 through 2011 — as well as content from his stand-up routine in 2010 — which included various homophobic slurs and anti-gay language.
In a video posted to Instagram, the Jumanji star mentioned the ultimatum given to him by the Academy — apologize or we’ll find somebody else — but said, “I chose to pass on the apology. The reason why I passed is because I’ve addressed this several times. 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. I’ve said who I am now versus who I was then. I’ve done it. I’m not going to continue to go back and tap into the days of old when I’ve moved on and I’m in a completely different place in my life,” he added.
Hart gives in
But that is, in fact, exactly what he ended up doing mere hours later. Hart deleted the controversial tweets and posted two new tweets explaining his decision to step down, and apologizing for his “insensitive words.”
Hart tweeted Thursday night, “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.”
He added as a follow-up, “I’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.”
Hart’s eventual apology, of course, wasn’t enough. As Slate writes, Hart failed to follow the “established protocol for resolving these kinds of issues: a sincere apology, an interview with a sympathetic journalist, maybe a charitable donation or two.”
Hart has also come under fire over the past year for a couple other issues. First, he was criticized for initially refraining from criticizing President Donald Trump — which he vulgarly reversed while hosting the MTV Video Music Awards show in August.
More recently, he was criticized for hosting a “Cowboys and Indians“-themed birthday party for his son, which angered identity politics-obsessed liberals.
Meanwhile, the Academy is now scrambling to find a new host for the Oscars — a position which is reportedly becoming difficult to fill.