Kevin Hart (Photo: Facebook)
It looks as is if the Oscars may soon be looking for a new host.
Kevin Hart, announced as host of the 2019 Academy Awards on Wednesday (5 December), said he would not apologize for anti-gay tweets and comments.
He said the Academy had given him an ultimatum.
‘I just got a call from the Academy and that call basically said: “Kevin, apologize for your tweets of old or we’re going to have to move on and find another host”’, he said in an Instagram Video.
Hart came under fire for a long history of anti-LGBTI jokes and comments on Thursday.
‘I chose to pass on the apology’, Hart said. ‘The reason why I passed is because I’ve addressed this several times’.
‘I’m not going to continue to go back and tap into the days of old when I’ve moved on and I’m in a completely different place in my life’ the comedian said.
In an earlier Instagram video, Hart addressed the furor. ‘Guys, I’m almost 40 years old. If you don’t believe that people change, grow, evolve as people get older, I don’t know what to tell you’, he said.
‘Stop looking for reasons to be negative’, he wrote. ‘Stop searching for reasons to be angry’.
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.
After seeing this @benfraserlee tweet, I did a search for every time Kevin Hart tweeted “fag,” “homo,” or “gay.” It was…a lot. And he seems to have basically stopped tweeting those words after 2011 — i.e. the year his first stand-up movie became a hit. https://t.co/P8nTOilFgx pic.twitter.com/6uzPhnvt4F
— Adam B. Vary (@adambvary) December 5, 2018
‘If I can prevent my son from being gay, I will’
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 received 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.
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