Kevin Hart has stepped down as the host of the 91st Academy Awards, a job he held for two days.
When The Academy pressed the comedian to apologize to the LGBTQ community for his past comments or step down, the actor/comedian refused.
When Hart announced in an Instagram post that he was going to host the Oscars, I took Twitter to blast the Academy for their choice of a person with a deeply troubling history of domestic abuse and inflammatory, anti-LGBTQ rhetoric. Not just with his old stand-up routines but as a consistent part of his personality and who he was – outside of being a comedian.
Outlets like IndieWire picked it up quickly and the last two days have been a whirlwind of controversy for the comedian. He again took to Instagram, this time to lash out at those asking for him to account for his comments (which he soon began deleting) and issued this statement.
After that non-apology, the pressure greatened, both on Hart and on the Academy to take action. Late this afternoon, the Academy issued Hart the ultimatum and he chose to pass.
“I just got a call from the Academy and that call basically said, ‘Kevin, apologize for your tweets of old or we’re going to have to move on and find another host.’ I’m talking about the tweets from 2009 and 2010,” the 39-year-old comedian 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.”
Just moments ago, Hart tweeted that he will be stepping down as host, issuing a too late apology for his past.
It is not known at this time if the Academy had a backup but I will report a new announcement as soon as one is made.
The 91st Academy Awards are still set for February 24, 2019.