Kevin Hart has stepped down as the host of the upcoming Academy Awards telecast, after nearly 10-year-old homophobic tweets surfaced from the comic and actor.
On Instagram, Hart explained the organization confronted him on Thursday. “I just got a call from the Academy,” Hart says to camera. “That call basically said, ‘Kevin apologize for your tweets of old, or we’re gonna have to move on and find another host.'”
“I chose to pass on the apology,” Hart said. “The reason why I passed is because I’ve addressed this several times.”
Hart continued, “I’ve addressed this…I’ve said who I am now versus who I was then. I’ve done it. I’ve moved on. I’m in a completely different space in my life…”
He added that apologizing would only empower “trolls” who dug up the old material. “I’m gonna be me. I’m gonna stand my ground.”
Earlier Thursday, Hart seemed more conciliatory on Twitter, posting, “I have made the choice to step down from hosting this year’s Oscar’s [sic]….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.”
He added, “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.”
In a now-deleted 2011 tweet, Hart posted, “Yo if my son comes home & try’s 2 play with my daughters doll house I’m going 2 break it over his head & say n my voice ‘stop that’s gay.'”
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