Backlash over Kevin Hart’s homophobic tweets was swift and now the comedian has backed out of being the host of next year’s 91st Annual Academy Awards because of past threats of violence and vile slurs against gays, Variety reports.
Hart spent Thursday trying to clean up his Twitter feed that was littered with anti-gay jokes made decades ago as part of his comedy routine. But his mad dash to delete the jokes made for tabloid fodder and forced the movie star to address his actions as people online and the Academy demanded an apology for his past indiscretions.
But Hart doubled down on his defiance and said he didn’t see a need to apologize again for something he feels he has already done previously.
“My team calls me, ‘Oh my God, Kevin, everyone’s upset by tweets you did years ago,’” he said in that video. “Guys, I’m nearly 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. If you want to hold people in a position where they always have to justify the past, do you. I’m the wrong guy, man.”
The backlash was sparked by tweets like this:
“Yo if my son comes home & (tries) 2 play with my daughters doll house I’m going 2 break it over his head & say n my voice ‘stop that’s gay,’” a now-deleted tweet from 2011 read.
Benjamin Lee, an editor for the Guardian, was the first to catch the anti-LGBT tweets.
After the Academy gave Hart an ultimatum – to apologize or else they would find another host, Hart finally did apologize but said that he would not host the Oscars because he wanted to keep the focus on the “amazing” honorees.
“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.”
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.
— Kevin Hart (@KevinHart4real) December 7, 2018
In a 2015 Rolling Stone interview, Hart defended his joke and contradicted himself when talking about fearing having a gay son and once again retreated to the idea that those who have issues with it are just being “sensitive.”
“It’s about my fear,” Hart said. ”I’m thinking about what I did as a dad, did I do something wrong, and if I did, what was it? Not that I’m not gonna love my son or think about him any differently.”
“I’d never apologize for what was never intended to be disrespectful — I’d never allow the public to win for something I know wasn’t malicious,” he added. “I think people take things so serious — you send out a tweet, and I’m not apologizing for that.”
He said he wouldn’t apologize. But he never said that he wouldn’t delete them when it could cost him a life-changing opportunity.
Now it’s up to the Academy to find an 11th hour replacement.