Kevin Hart has officially stepped down as host of the upcoming Oscars after refusing to apologize for a series of homophobic tweets he made several years ago. On Thursday, the comedian revealed that The Academy had given him an ultimatum: apologize for the tweets or say bye to his hosting gig.
“I passed on the apology. The reason why I passed is because I’ve addressed this several times,” he said. “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’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 space in my life. 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. We’re feeding the internet trolls and we reward them. I’m not going to do it, man. I’m going to be me and stand my ground.”
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The New York Post reports,
The Motion Picture Academy did not immediately have a comment on whether they had demanded Hart apologize and if they planned to dump him. For his part, Hart said in his video: “Regardless, Academy I’m thankful and appreciative of the opportunity. If it goes away no harm no foul.”
Hart reportedly deleted a number of homophobic messages — some of which were nearly a decade old — after getting picked to host the 2019 awards show on Tuesday.
When news organizations noticed what he did, they started reposting screen grabs of the messages, including one from 2011 that read: “Yo if my son comes home & try’s 2 play with my daughters doll house I’m going 2 break it over his head & say n my voice ‘stop that’s gay.”
Other tweets still live on Hart’s Twitter include messages like: “I just saw a n—a put a whole chicken wing in his mouth and pull it out with no meat on it!!!!!! God damn that was gay.”
GLAAD, the gay rights advocacy organization, wrote on Twitter that they reached out to Hart, ABC Network and the Oscars to discuss the tweets. It’s unclear if anyone has responded to them.
In a previous Instagram video also posted on Thursday night, Hart offered no clear apology for the tweets. “I LOVE EVERYBODY,” he wrote in the caption to the video.
In his later Instagram message, he complained that he had already addressed the tweets in the past and that “we feed into internet trolls and we reward them.” But he said “I’m going to be me, I’m going to stand my ground.”