Kevin Hart has officially stepped down as the host of the upcoming Academy Awards after facing controversy over recently resurfaced tweets from almost a decade ago, containing homophobic remarks and offensive slurs.
Hart posted on Twitter an apology to the LGBTQ community for his past words.
Buzzfeed reports that Benjamin Lee, an editor for the U.K.'s Guardian, was one of the first to address Hart's controversial posts, writing on Wednesday, "I wonder when Kevin Hart is gonna start deleting all his old tweets".
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 passed on the apology". "My team calls me, 'Oh my God, Kevin, the world is upset about tweets you did years ago". Hart has since spoken about the joke, telling Rolling Stone in 2015 that it was really about his "own insecurities" as a parent, again reiterating he's not homophobic and saying he "wouldn't tell that joke today, because when I said it, the times weren't as sensitive as they are now.
Stop searching for reasons to be angry", Hart wrote in his Instagram, along with a grainy video of him shirtless expressing the same sentiments.
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Hart's attitudes about homosexuality were also a well-known part of his stand-up act. But me, being a heterosexual male, if I can prevent my son from being gay, I will. I work hard on a daily basis to spread positivity to all.with that being said.
"One of my biggest fears is my son growing up and being gay".
Comedian and actor Billy Eichner was among those on social media who were disappointed with Hart's response. I'm thinking about what I did as a dad, did I do something wrong, and if I did, what was it?
A representative for the academy did not immediately respond to messages after Hart stepped down.
It is unclear who may replace Hart for the annual awards show.
After Hart was announced as the host of the upcoming 91st Academy Awards on Tuesday, people began revisiting the comedian's Twitter account and bringing up posts from as far back as 2009, in which Hart made homophobic and transphobic comments. Murphy soon after exited, as well.