Oscar 2019: Kevin Hart Steps Down as Host of Oscar Show

A lot can happen in 24 hours.  Take Kevin Hart, for example.

Wednesday afternoon, the comedian was announced as the host for the upcoming 91st annual Oscars show. By Thursday night, he had stepped down.

The turn of events followed outcry over previous anti-gay tweets, and comments Hart made during stand-up routines nearly 10 years ago. Some of the tweets were feverishly deleted throughout the day on Thursday, leading to an Instragram video from the comedian that only made matters worse for him.

“My team calls me, ‘Oh my God, Kevin, everyone’s upset by tweets you did years ago,’” he said in that video. “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. If you want to hold people in a position where they always have to justify the past, do you. I’m the wrong guy, man.”

Hours later, Hart posted another video stating that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences had given him an ultimatum: Apologize or we’ll find a new host.

“I have made the choice to step down from hosting this year’s Oscars,” he wrote. “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 am 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.”

The Academy finds itself in the unenviable position of casting a net once again to fill a role that clearly no one wanted in the first place. The December  announcement of Hart as emcee was quite late, as the organization experienced trouble in finding someone to front their show.

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