Kevin Hart Steps Down as Oscars Host; LGBTQ Community and Twitter Divided Over 'Apology'
On Twitter, Hart apologized to the LGBTQ community for what he called "my insensitive words from my past."
Image: Reuters Pictures
US comedian and actor Kevin Hart abruptly withdrew from hosting the Oscars amid flak for past homophobic and anti-gay tweets.
Two days after announcing he had landed what he called a dream gig, Hart said that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences had told him to choose between apologizing for the tweets or losing the job. Hart said the tweets were from nearly a decade ago and that he has matured since then.
On Twitter, Hart apologized to the LGBTQ community for what he called "my insensitive words from my past." "I'm sorry that I hurt people," he added. "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."
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
"I chose to pass on the apology. The reason why I passed is because I've addressed this several times," Hart, 39, said during a video posted to Instagram just two hours before announcing his decision to step down as the host of Hollywood's biggest night of the year.
"I've said who I am now versus who I was then. I've done it. I'm not going to continue to go back and tap into the days of old when I've moved on and I'm in a completely different place in my life," Hart said.
Clearly, that changed.
Hart had come under fire over homophobic comments he had made some years earlier, which led several keyboard critics to question his suitability as a host. At a time when professional and social relationships across countries and industries are coming under intense scrutiny, and even as gender and sexual identity issues are in a state of upheaval, as victims of assault and discrimination around the world become voices demanding real change and equality, organizations and people around the world are finally paying attention.
However, opinion is still divided over whether Hart's brief apology on Twitter made up for his previous seemingly enthusiastic participation in a culture of hate and prejudice.
Some people, while celebrating the swift response by the Academy to their protests, felt Hart could and should have said more.
Kevin Hart: I’m not gonna apologize...The Academy: pic.twitter.com/KdpAqL37vE— Mars & Blair Show (@marsandblair) December 7, 2018
Kevin Hart’s ego made him miss out on “the opportunity of a lifetime for him as a comedian.” His words!All he had to do was apologize and yet— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) December 7, 2018
The gays ending Kevin Hart’s Oscars gig in just over 24 hours. pic.twitter.com/hv1jcu3nTl— T Dubs (@Yoshirox10) December 7, 2018
This is the response to all those who think your past should describe your future. Am sorry but no apology from Kevin Hart pic.twitter.com/kwaFkY8fZH— Kenya my pride 🇰🇪 (@JayRugen) December 7, 2018
The fact that it took you this long to apologize is sad. You haven’t changed. You’re still the same man that said if you could prevent your son from being gay you would. If you were sorry at all you would’ve said so already and not have been so arrogant when you were in the wrong pic.twitter.com/NDPn4zUpZW— Sam (@Sam25859728) December 7, 2018
Others, including several openly gay and queer celebrities like comedian Billy Eichner, were more appreciative of Hart's efforts and lauded his decision.
I’m no saint. We just wanted a little understanding, a little explanation. Apologies are tough - they leave you vulnerable. Toxic masculinity is real. I deal with it in my own way too. So on that note, I appreciate @KevinHart4real apologizing. And apology accepted. That’s all.— billy eichner (@billyeichner) December 7, 2018
“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.... So why set yourself up for failure?”-Kevin Hart, Rolling Stone 2015— Pascal C. Okafor (@Chiebuniem_) December 7, 2018
You did right Kevin!Way to stand strong💪— Sean burdge (@Tsb783) December 7, 2018
I am in Kenya and I am a big fan of yours. It's a pity how some people try to take others down. Honestly who doesn't have skeletons in the closet. Nobody should judge you. You are not a god and so why judge you. You ain't perfect. ..... Anyways Kevin you are the funniest man— Tabs (@Tabs89018189) December 7, 2018
The Academy must now find a new host for the 91st Academy Awards in February.
(With agency inputs)
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