The comedian/actor issues a statement removing himself from the prestigious role.
Just over 24 hours after announcing he'd accepted the coveted hosting job for the upcoming 91st Academy Awards, comedian/actor Kevin Hart has stepped down from the role. The move comes amid controversy surrounding Hart's past anti-gay remarks on Twitter and in his stand-up routines.
After Hart and the Academy confirmed he'd be hosting the upcoming Oscars telecast, his past homophobic remarks emerged fairly quickly. On Thursday, many of the tweets that raised eyebrows were removed from Hart's Twitter feed, which led to Hart recording an Instagram video explaining his point of view and intentions moving forward.
In the video, Hart said, "Guys. I'm nearly 40 years old. If you don't believe that people change, grow, evolve as they get older, I don't know what to tell you."
Hart failed to formally apologize for his past comments on the internet and in his past stand-up routines.
In a second video, published hours after the first, Hart explained that the Academy had given him an ultimatum: apologize or step down. Hart chose the latter.
"I chose to pass on the apology. The reason why I passed is because I've addressed this several times. This is not the first time this has come up. I've addressed it. I've spoken on it. I've said where the rights and wrongs were. I've asid 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."
Less than two hours later, Hart announced on Twitter that he was removing himself from the hosting opportunity.
The Academy has yet to publicly comment or announce a replacement host. The 91st Academy Awards take place Sunday, February 24, 2019.