Kevin Hart Steps Down as Oscars Host

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Kevin Hart Steps Down as Oscars Host

Kevin Hart has stepped down as the host of the 2019 Academy Awards, just one day after taking the gig. Hart made the announcement Thursday night on Twitter, finally apologizing for anti-gay and -trans comments that resurfaced after he was confirmed as Oscars host.

On Wednesday, Hart shared the news that he would be hosting next year’s ceremony on Instagram.

The news, however, led to the resurfacing of some homophobic comments from Hart’s past, including several that are still up on his Twitter.

On Thursday, the comedian posted two Instagram videos in response to the criticism, acknowledging that he had changed since those tweets but declining to outright apologize for them.

“My team calls me, ‘Oh my God, Kevin, this world is upset about tweets you did years ago,” he says in the first of two videos. “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.”

In the second video, Hart shares that he chose not to apologize, even after the Academy issued an ultimatum. “I chose to pass, I passed on the apology,” he says, after explaining how the Academy called to say that they would be moving on to a new host unless he issued an apology for his past tweets.

“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,” he explained.

Hart was more apologetic in the tweet following the one in which he stepped down as Oscars host, although another tweet from this morning suggests that he still isn’t backing down after the debacle.

This isn’t the first time this year that ABC, which is airing the 91st Academy Awards in February 2019, has faced a high-profile Twitter controversy. This summer, ABC canceled Roseanne after a racist tweet by star Roseanne Barr about Valerie Jarrett, and parent company Disney also fired James Gunn from Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3 after controversial tweets resurfaced in which the director made light of rape and pedophilia.

Late last month, Hart also faced social media controversy after hosting a “Cowboys & Indians” birthday party for his one-year-old son, Kenzo, on Thanksgiving, firing back at critics on his SiriusXM show, Straight from the Hart.

“This isn’t a racial slur that people are doing and being malicious with. This is a game that’s been played for years,” Hart said in response to criticisms of the party theme.

In the wake of the Hart kerfuffle, the Academy Awards still don’t have a host for next year, although some on Twitter have shared their thoughts on who should take the job:

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