Kevin Hart Apologizes to LGBTs and Steps Down as Oscar Host
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Kevin Hart Apologizes to LGBTs and Steps Down as Oscar Host

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Kevin Hart: “I sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past.”

On Wednesday, comedian Kevin Hart was announced as the host for the upcoming 91st annual Academy Awards. About 24 hours later, he stepped down.

The decision followed outrage over Hart’s anti-gay past, which included homophobic tweets and jokes he made during stand-up routines almost 10 years ago. On Thursday, Hart’s social medium team swiftly deleted many of the anti-LGBT tweets. Later in the day, Hart took to Instragram to share his frustration in a video.

“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.”

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Those words reverberated as a rebellious non-apology for many. Hart resurfaced a few hours later with another video saying that the Academy had given him an ultimatum: Apologize or we’ll find a new host.

“I chose to pass on the apology,” the 39-year-old actor said in the video. “The reason why I passed is that 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.”

 

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Less than two hours later, Hart announced via Twitter that he was withdrawing himself from the gig, and he eventually offered the apology many wanted.

“I have made the choice to step down from hosting this year’s Oscars,” he wrote. “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’m sorry that I hurt people. I am evolving and want to continue to do so. My goal is to bring people together not tear us apart. Much love and appreciation to the Academy. I hope we can meet again.”

The Academy did not respond to a request for comment.

Kevin Hart Apologizes to LGBTs and Steps Down as Oscar Host

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