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Hart steps down as Oscars host after outcry over old tweets


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Kevin Hart

NEW YORK (AP) — Just two days after being named host of the Academy Awards, Kevin Hart stepped down following an outcry over past homophobic tweets by the comedian.

Capping a swift and dramatic fallout, Hart wrote on Twitter just after midnight Friday that he was withdrawing as Oscars host because he didn’t want to be a distraction. “I sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past,” wrote Hart.

Hart stepped aside just about an hour after refusing to apologize for tweets that resurfaced after he was announced as Oscars host on Tuesday. In a video on Instagram, Hart said the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences gave him an ultimatum: apologize or “we’re going to 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.”

The film academy didn’t respond to messages Thursday evening.

Hart has since deleted some of the anti-gay tweets, mostly dated from 2009-2011. But they had already been screen-captured and been shared online. In 2011, he wrote in a since-deleted tweet: “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.”

In an earlier post Thursday, Hart wrote on Instagram that critics should “stop being negative” about his earlier anti-gay remarks.

“I’m almost 40 years old. If you don’t believe that people change, grow, evolve? I don’t know what to tell you,” said Hart, who added, in all-caps: “I love everybody.”

Hart’s attitudes about homosexuality were also a well-known part of his stand-up act. In the 2010 special “Seriously Funny,” he said “one of my biggest fears is my son growing up and being gay.”

“Keep in mind, I’m not homophobic, I have nothing against gay people, do what you want to do, but me, being a heterosexual male, if I can prevent my son from being gay, I will,” Hart said.

GLAAD, the advocacy group for LGBTQ rights, said Thursday that it reached out to Oscars broadcaster ABC, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences and Hart’s management to “discuss Kevin’s anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and record.”

Comedian and actor Billy Eichner said “a simple, authentic apology showing any bit of understanding or remorse would have been so simple.”

It’s not the first time an Oscars host has been derailed by anti-gay remarks. Ahead of the 2012 Academy Awards, producer Brett Ratner, who had been paired with host Eddie Murphy, resigned days after using a gay slur at a film screening. Murphy soon after exited, as well.

That year, a tried-and-true Oscars veteran — Billy Crystal — jumped in to save the show, hosting for his eighth time. This time, speculation has already been rampant that few in Hollywood want the gig, for which few win glowing reviews.

The film academy moved up this year’s ceremony to Feb. 24, giving producers little time to find a replacement.

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Kevin Hart Stepped Down as the Host of the Oscars, Because He Refused to Apologize for His Old Tweets?


HIGHLIGHTS:  KEVIN HART stepped down as the host of the Oscars late last night, because the Academy was forcing him to apologize for some old homophobic Tweets, and he didn't want to.  Strangely, as he was announcing that he was stepping down, he DID apologize to the LGBT community.



FULL STORY:  Late last night, KEVIN HART stepped down as the host of the Oscars . . . just ONE DAY after he got the gig.



It was pretty strange how it all went down.  It started yesterday morning, when people started bringing up Kevin's controversial, homophobic Tweets from almost a decade ago.  He was dropping gay slurs, used "gay" as an insult, and talked repeatedly about how he wouldn't like it if HIS son turned out to be gay.



He'd say stuff like, quote, "If my son comes home and tries to play with my daughter's doll house, I'm going to break it over his head and say in my voice, 'stop, that's gay."  He also used to use some of that stuff in his comedy routines.



Of course, he's "addressed" this before . . . saying things like how he wouldn't do that kind of comedy anymore because people have become more sensitive.  But he never really sincerely apologized publicly.



So after this started going viral, Kevin finally deleted some of those old Tweets.



Then, he posted a video on Instagram where he talked about how he's "more mature" now, and that he's a different person, who's changed, grown, and evolved.  He said he's a positive, happy person, who loves everybody.



He also said the world is "beyond crazy," and that people are just searching for reasons to be outraged.





That wasn't enough for the Academy.



Kevin posted another video saying that they'd called him and demanded that he apologize, or they'd find another host.  But he said he would NOT say he was sorry, even if it meant that he lost this DREAM gig.  He said, quote, "If it goes away, no harm, no foul."





Then, about an hour later, Kevin announced he was stepping down as the Oscar host.



And as he said it, he offered up an apology to the LGBT community.  (???)



He said, quote, "I have made the choice to step down from hosting this year's Oscars . . . 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."



"I'm sorry that I hurt people . . . I'm evolving and want to continue to do so . . . my goal is to bring people together not tear us apart.   Much love and appreciation to the Academy.  I hope we can meet again."

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