Kevin Hart Steps Down As Oscar Host

The search is back on to find an emcee for next year’s Academy Awards. Just as fast as Kevin Hart was announced as the host, he wasn’t. It all fell apart when several homophobic tweets surfaced yesterday. The comedian made the comments between 2009 and 2011. There were immediate calls for Hart to apologize. Instead, he shared an Instagram video where he seemed defensive and defiant.

“My team calls me, oh my God the world is upset about tweets you did years ago,” Hart said in the video. “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.”

Hart followed that with another video a few hours later, after the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences gave him an ultimatum: apologize or we’ll find a new host. Hart made it clear he wouldn’t say sorry.

“I chose to pass on the apology,” Hart said. “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.”

But Hart did eventually apologize, in a tweet explaining that he was passing on his hosting gig: “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.”