The Ride Along star Kevin Hart on Tuesday announced that he has been selected to host the Oscars, which are to be held on February 24, 2019. He took to his Instagram handle to share the news with his fans and posted a picture as well. On the post he wrote, “For years I have been asked if I would ever host the Oscars and my answer was always the same... I said that it would be the opportunity of a lifetime for me as a comedian and that it will happen when it’s suppose to. I am so happy to say that the day has finally come for me to host the Oscars. I am blown away simply because this has been a goal on my list for a long time’’.
But, on Thursday he informed that he is stepping down as the host of 91st Academy Awards following a controversy over his old homophobic tweets that have resurfaced now.
The 39-year-old actor was announced as the host of 2019 Oscars on Tuesday and soon after his old tweets where he cracked anti-gay jokes resurfaced, which led to a huge uproar on social media.
Taking to Twitter, Hart said he has stepped down as he does not want to become a “distraction” at the ceremony. He also apologised to the LGBTQ community for his past “insensitive words”.
“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,” the actor wrote.
“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,” he added.
According to Buzzfeed, Hart had started deleting his tweets after his announcement as the Oscars host, but many online users took screenshots before they were removed.
After the backlash, the actor had posted a video on Instagram, saying he is in great mature place where all I do is spread positivity?.
“Guys, I’m almost 40 years old. If you don’t believe that people change, grow, evolve as people get older, I don’t know what to tell you,” Hart said in the video.
“If you want to hold people in a position where they always have to justify their past, then do you. I’m the wrong guy, man. I’m in a great place, a great mature place, where all I do is spread positivity,” he added.
In the same post, the actor said he is fine if people want to “search my history or past and anger yourselves with what you find”.
“I’m almost 40 years old and I’m in love with the man I am becoming. You LIVE and YOU LEARN & YOU GROW & YOU MATURE. I live to Love... Please take your negative energy and put it into something constructive.
“Please... What’s understood should never have to be said. I LOVE EVERYBODY... ONCE AGAIN EVERYBODY. If you choose to not believe me then that’s on you... Have a beautiful day,” the actor said.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which runs the Academy Awards, has not yet responded on the controversy. It is yet to announce Hart’s replacement.
(With inputs from PTI)