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Conservatives rush to defend Kevin Hart over homophobic tweets

Philadelphia City Council/Flickr (CC-BY-ND)

Kevin Hart has found an odd ally.

Comedian Kevin Hart is coming under fire from conservatives for backing out of the Oscars following the discovery of past tweets using homophobic language.

Hart announced his decision on Thursday night, just two days after he had been chosen to host.

“I have made the choice to step down from hosting this year’s Oscars,” he tweeted. “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.”

Hart initially dodged the apology, acknowledging the issue on two Instagram videos, but saying he had addressed the issue before and wouldn’t apologize for past behavior. Meanwhile, many of the tweets in question were deleted on Thursday.

The pile-on continued Friday when conservatives on Twitter attacked Hart for relenting and being too PC.

Others chose to call out politically correct culture and the “PC police.”

Reporter Benjamin Lee collected some of Hart’s old tweets, which have now been deleted.

Some Twitter users made the point that the people digging up Hart’s past were white, accusing them of racist behavior or, at least, not holding white artists to the same standard of accountability.

The controversy comes at an odd time for the Oscars; viewership is down, and the Academy reportedly struggled to find a host. But for an event at which multiple LGBTQ performances are expected to be nominated, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences could certainly have done more vetting, since Hart has repeatedly told homophobic jokes and stated homophobic opinions, even as recently as 2015.

The Academy has not yet announced a replacement for Hart.

Ellen Ioanes

Ellen Ioanes

Ellen Ioanes is the FOIA reporter at the Daily Dot, where she covers U.S. politics. She is a graduate of Columbia Journalism School, and her work has appeared in the Guardian, the Center for Public Integrity, HuffPost India, and more.