Kevin Hart was back on center stage, feeling the love from his fans in Sydney, Australia, after feeling the heat from an Oscar dust-up that sidelined his 2019 hosting gig because of insensitive jokes he made about gays over a decade, the NY Daily News reports.
“All I can say is WOOOOOOOOW…. Thank you so much Sydney, Australia,” he wrote on Instagram, accompanied by a video thanking his supporters. “Making the world laugh is forever a priority. Blessed to be able to bring laughter on a international level & do what I love.”
Hart felt the pain over the past week as the fallout from his old tweets resurfaced on social media and pitted him against Academy Awards officials who demanded that he either apologize for the homophobic jokes or be removed from the running as host of the 2019 show.
“I just got a call from the Academy and that call basically said, ‘Kevin, apologize for your old tweets or we’re going to have to move on and find another host,’” Hart said in an Instagram story Thursday.
Hart, clearly in his feelings, decided that he would remove himself and took to social media to explain his side, saying that he has grown and didn’t feel the need to apologize over something he felt like he addressed a decade ago.
“I have made the choice to step down from hosting this year’s Oscars…this is because I do not want to be a distraction on a night that should be celebrated by so many amazing talented artists,” Hart tweeted, finally apologizing. “I sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past.”
Many felt like it was a missed opportunity for the comedian to use his platform for the greater good. His friends like Nick Cannon, on the other hand, came to Hart’s defense to highlight the hypocrisy when it comes to the off-color things white comedians say.
Cannon tweeted: “Interesting. I wonder if there was any backlash here…,” sharing a Chelsea Handler tweet from 2010 that said: “This is what a f– bird likes like when he flexes.”
He also spent his Friday scouring through Sarah Silverman’s tweets and found one from 2010, that read, “I don’t mean this in a hateful way but the new Bachelorette’s a f—-t.”
Cannon sarcastically wrote, “And I f–king love Wreck It Ralph!!!” He also found a similar tweet from Amy Schumer.
Saturday Night Live’s Michael Che also pointed out some double standards.
“Didn’t the Academy nominate Mel Gibson for an award just last year?” Che asked during his appearance on “Saturday Night Live.”
Gibson notoriously spewed hateful anti-Semitic remarks during a DUI arrest in 2006. However, the Academy nominated him for best director Oscar for his 2017 war film Hacksaw Ridge.
Gibson, however, did apologize for those remarks.
Che continued: “If Kevin Hart isn’t clean enough to host the Oscars then no black comic is,” Che said. “The only black comic I know that’s cleaner than Kevin Hart is booked for the next three to 10 years,” he said, referring to convicted rapist Bill Cosby.