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Kevin Hart steps down as Oscars host, apologizes to LGBTI community

Kevin Hart steps down as Oscars host, apologizes to LGBTI community

Kevin Hart

Comedian Kevin Hart has stepped down as host of the 2019 Oscars. He also apologized for anti-gay comments he previously made.

‘I have made the choice to step down from hosting this year’s Oscar’s’ Hart wrote in a tweet on Friday (7 December).

This came just hours after Hart had rejected calls from the Academy to apologize for anti-gay tweets and comments he previously made.

He later tweeted, however: ‘I sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past’.

Hart came under fire for a long history of anti-LGBTI jokes after he was announced as Oscars host this week.

‘I chose to pass on the apology’, Hart said on Instagram on Friday after the Academy allegedly threatened to ‘move on and find another host’.

The US comedian and actor U-turned just hours later on Twitter. He said he did not want to be a ‘distraction’ on the night.

In a separate tweet, he said: ‘I’m sorry that I hurt people’. He thanked the Academy.

 

 

‘If I can prevent my son from being gay, I will’

Hart appeared to delete a number of anti-gay tweets as they surfaced on Thursday. Screenshots showed him using terms ‘gay’ and ‘fag’ in a derogatory manner.

Hart said in a comedy special in 2010 that his biggest fear was that his son would come out as gay.

‘If I can prevent my son from being gay, I will’ he said. In a later 2015 interview, he said he would not make the comments again but did not apologize.

Kevin also starred in the critically-panned 2015 movie prison comedy Get Hard. It saw his character Darnell prepare a hedge fund manager played by Will Ferrell for prison. It is laden with homophobic jokes.

Previous LGBTI hosts of the Oscars include Neil Patrick Harris in 2015, and of course Ellen DeGeneres in 2007 and 2014.

Several films with LGBTI plots and characters expected to receive nominations at next year’s Academy Awards.

Among them is conversion therapy drama Boy Erased, starring Lucas Hedges.

Another hot contender is The Favourite starring Olivia Coleman, which looks at the lives and loves of Queen Anne.