Hours after refusing to apologize for past homophobic tweets, Kevin Hart has apologized for past homophobic tweets and stepped down as the host of the 2019 Academy Awards. In a tweet Thursday night, Hart wrote “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.” Hart followed up with another tweet apologizing for the hurt he caused.
LGBTQ artists and activists called out Hart’s previous homophobic tweets and standup material after he was announced as the host of the Oscars, aka “Gay Superbowl.” In an Instagram story earlier Thursday, Hart claimed to have already addressed his past statements. Saying he would “stand [his] ground,” Hart refused to comment or apologize for them ever again. He had addressed his homophobic standup in a 2015 Rolling Stone article, but did not apologize. “I wouldn’t tell that joke today, because when I said it, the times weren’t as sensitive as they are now. I think we love to make big deals out of things that aren’t necessarily big deals, because we can.”