Kevin Hart Drops Out As Academy Awards Host

Academy Awards Kevin Hart

Kevin Hart has stepped down as host of the 2019 Academy Awards amid a growing controversy over several homophobic comments he has made in the past in both his stand up act and on social media.

Hart was announced as the host of the Oscar telecast on Wednesday, and almost immediately there was pushback over old statements from Hart that expressed anti-gay sentiments and used homophobic slurs. But as the outcry over several twitter comments from 2009 through 2011 began to grow, many of the offending tweets were purged from Hart’s account.

Among those who spoke up about the offensive tweets and Hart’s inappropriateness as host were entertainment journalist Mark Harris.

In an Instagram video released yesterday evening from Australia, where Hart was touring, the comic stated that the Academy had asked for an apology for the comments or they would find themselves another host and that he was refusing to apologize. Hart stated –

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.

A short while later, Hart confirmed that the Academy had indeed given him the boot.

This is not the first time that the Academy has lost a host due to homophobic comments. In 2011, the Academy had chosen movie producer Brett Ratner to produce that year’s telecast. However, shortly after getting the job, Ratner stated “rehearsal is for fags,” while on a press junket for his then upcoming film Tower Heist. Ratner stepped down as producer of the Oscars show shortly afterwadrs, and that year’s host, comedian Eddie Murphy, also dropped out in a show of solidarity with Ratner.

Meanwhile, the Academy is back to square one with their search for a host for the Oscars. The Academy Awards is schedule for February 24.

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About Rich Drees 6964 Articles
A film fan since he first saw that Rebel Blockade Runner fleeing the massive Imperial Star Destroyer at the tender age of 8 and a veteran freelance journalist with twenty years experience writing about film and pop culture. He is a member of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle.
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