Kevin Hart will no longer be hosting the Oscars ceremony on February 24, 2019. The rising comedian had just announced that he would be hosting the Oscars a few days ago, but that no longer seems to be the case.
Hart started his acting career in 2001 with the TV movie North Hollywood starring Jason Segel, Amy Poehler, and January Jones. The comedian went on to perform in many stand-up comedy sessions before moving on to bigger films like Ride Along, Central Intelligence, and the massive Hollywood blockbuster Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. The actor has even hosted Saturday Night Live three times, when it is often considered an honor for an actor to even host the comedy show once. Needless to say, Hart is a popular figure in Hollywood, which is likely why he was chosen to host the Oscars. That being said, it looks like ABC will need to find a new host for the upcoming awards ceremony.
First revealed by THR, Hart is stepping down from hosting the 91st Academy Awards after several anti-gay and homophobic tweets began surfacing. Hart had initially seemed thrilled to host the Awards ceremony but tweeted Thursday evening that he would no longer be apart of the Oscars in 2019. The Academy had apparently told him that he could either apologize for his old tweets or step down from hosting the ceremony. Hart has since done both, but it seems that initially, he turned down the opportunity to just apologize by saying, "I passed. The reason I passed is because I've addressed this several times. This is not the first time this has come up. Regardless, to the Academy, I'm thankful for the opportunity, if it goes away, no harm, no foul". Since the news of him stepping down is still fairly recent, the Academy has yet to comment about the recent turn of events, but a few of Hart's apologetic tweets can be read below.
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
While the news about Hart is already making headlines, this won't be the first time the Oscars have been involved with a controversy this year. In August, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences added a Popular Film category, which would allow more mainstream movies to win awards. The Academy saw a lot of backlash from this move, with many people seeing this as an insult to mainstream movies. That being said, the Academy has since decided to remove the Popular Film category from the Oscars ceremony and plan to revisit it again at a later time.
While many people enjoy Hart's work, it is probably for the best that Hart has distanced himself from the Oscars. Even though Hart's homophobic tweets date back to 2011 and he claims to have changed as a person since then, many people would criticize the Oscars if they kept him on as a host. For many people, it wouldn't feel right to have Hart host the ceremony, since many actors such as Rami Malek and Emma Stone potentially could be winning awards this year for portraying LGBTQ figures. The Academy still has time to replace Hart, but it likely won't be an easy task given that the Oscars are only a few months away.