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Mere days after Kevin Hart was announced as the Oscars’ 2019 host, the actor and comedian stepped down from the role last night and apologized for homophobic jokes.
In an apology posted to Twitter, Hart said that he did not “want to be a distraction on a night that should be celebrated by so many amazing talented artists.” He apologized to the queer community for “insensitive words from my past” and stressed that he wants to continue to grow as a person.
“I’m sorry that I hurt people.. I am evolving and want to continue to do so,” Hart tweeted. “My goal is to bring people together not tear us apart. Much love & appreciation to the Academy. I hope we can meet again.”
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.— Kevin Hart (@KevinHart4real) December 7, 2018
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 & appreciation to the Academy. I hope we can meet again.— Kevin Hart (@KevinHart4real) December 7, 2018
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. Martin Luther King, Jr.— Kevin Hart (@KevinHart4real) December 7, 2018
Hart’s statement comes after a plethora of homophobic jokes and tweets surfaced on social media, including a lengthy list of tweets and retweets from 2009 through 2011 in which Hart used slurs such as “gay,” “homo,” and “fag” in a demeaning manner.
In one case, Hart tweeted that if he caught his son playing with a doll house, he would break the house over his son’s head and say “stop that’s gay.” Meanwhile, Hart also received criticism for a 2010 standup joke in which he said one of his biggest fears is “my son growing up and being gay.”
“Keep in mind, I’m not homophobic, I have nothing against gay people, be happy. Do what you want to do,” Hart said, according to the Guardian. “But me, being a heterosexual male, if I can prevent my son from being gay, I will.”
do u think he's gonna make gay jokes when he hosts the oscars or nah https://t.co/apRUOlFIed— David Mack (@davidmackau) December 6, 2018
Not only are you sexualizing your son, but your pursuit to "prevent" your child from being "gay" is fear driven. You ARE homophobic Kevin. I GET IT! BEING VILIFIED IS WACK! Truthfully, I AM VERY CONCERNED with how you will attempt to police your CHILD's sexuality. pic.twitter.com/NRJxIrRjSk— IAM (@IndyaMoore) December 6, 2018
After seeing this @benfraserlee tweet, I did a search for every time Kevin Hart tweeted "fag," "homo," or "gay." It was…a lot. And he seems to have basically stopped tweeting those words after 2011 — i.e. the year his first stand-up movie became a hit. https://t.co/P8nTOilFgx pic.twitter.com/6uzPhnvt4F— Adam B. Vary (@adambvary) December 5, 2018
Twitter users have since celebrated Hart’s removal, stressing that his homophobia had no place at the Oscars.
All you had to do was be accountable and SHOW the growth.— George M Johnson (@IamGMJohnson) December 7, 2018
A. Mess. https://t.co/6n8k6LkqPT
Everyone to Kevin Hart right now: pic.twitter.com/KtiQYlsMSy— Raquel Willis (@RaquelWillis_) December 7, 2018
And then he apologizes anyway?— Vanessa Clark (@FoxxyGlamKitty) December 7, 2018
.@KevinHart4real - why couldn't you just owned up to the tweets (instead of deleting them), show some humility, show up/do better, and just apologize. That was all you had to do. Yes, you apologized now, but your stubbornness was your downfall. https://t.co/INQKefk6y4
Kevin Hart is the same person that won't speak out on black lives matter or police brutality because he's an entertainer and that's none of his business, but he decides to stand up for free speech AFTER he says some homophobic shit. pic.twitter.com/154aSiThOs— Who's that Girl, She's THAT Girl (@glamhergirl) December 7, 2018
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Ana Valens is a reporter specializing in online queer communities, marginalized identities, and adult content creation. She is Daily Dot's Trans/Sex columnist. Her work has appeared at Vice, Vox, Truthout, Bitch Media, Kill Screen, Rolling Stone, and the Toast. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, and spends her free time developing queer adult games.