NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Nearly 48 hours after being named the host of next year’s Academy Awards, comedian Kevin Hart stepped down.
His decision came after backlash over homophobic tweets he made in 2009 resurfaced.
When Hart found out he got the job earlier this week, he called it the opportunity of a lifetime.
Then when the offensive tweets resurfaced, at first, he said he would not apologize. But within hours, he announced he’d chosen to walk away.
Just after midnight, he tweeted he was stepping down.
“I have made the choice to step down from hosting this year’s Oscar’s….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,” Hart posted.
The sudden turn of events started with an Instagram confession of sorts.
View this post on Instagram
Stop looking for reasons to be negative…Stop searching for reasons to be angry….I swear I wish you guys could see/feel/understand the mental place that I am in. I am truly happy people….there is nothing that you can do to change that…NOTHING. I work hard on a daily basis to spread positivity to all….with that being said. If u want to search my history or past and anger yourselves with what u find that is fine with me. I’m almost 40 years old and I’m in love with the man that I am becoming. You LIVE and YOU LEARN & YOU GROW & YOU MATURE. I live to Love….Please take your negative energy and put it into something constructive. Please….What’s understood should never have to be said. I LOVE EVERYBODY…..ONCE AGAIN EVERYBODY. If you choose to not believe me then that’s on you….Have a beautiful day
“My team calls me, ‘Oh my God, Kevin, the world is upset about tweets you did years ago,” Hart posted.
The 39-year-old comedian and actor posted a video on the social media platform Thursday evening, talking about the controversy surrounding the vulgar, homophobic tweets from 2009 and 2010.
“We’ve reached out to ABCNetwork, TheAcademy and kevin hart’s management to discuss Kevin’s anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and record as well as opportunities for positive LGBTQ inclusion on the Oscars stage,” the group tweeted Thursday.
Soon after, Hart took to Instagram again.
“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, adding he was not going to apologize. “This is not the first time this has come up. I’ve addressed it, I’ve spoken on it, I’ve said where the rights and wrongs were, I’ve said who I am now versus who I was then.”
Shortly after the video was posted, a mea culpa from the father of three and the announcement he would not be hosting.
“I’m sorry that I hurt people. I am evolving and want to continue to do so,” he said.
So far, ABC, the network hosting the Oscars, and the Academy of Motion Picture, Arts and Sciences have not released statements about Hart stepping down.