Kevin Hart resigns as Oscar host on anti-gay tweets



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The Associated Press

Published Friday, December 7, 2018 12:20 AM EST

Last Updated Friday, December 7, 2018 12:48 EST

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Just two days after winning the Oscar, Kevin Hart stepped down after a clamor over the comedian's latest homophobic tweets.

Covering a rapid precipitation, Hart wrote on Twitter shortly after midnight on Friday, he was retreating as an Oscar host because he did not want to be a distraction. "I sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past," Hart wrote.

Hart walked away only about an hour after refusing to apologize for tweets that resurfaced after he was announced as Oscar host on Tuesday. In a video on Instagram, Hart said the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences gave him an ultimatum: apologize or "we're going to have to move on and find another host."

"I chose to make the apology," Hart said. "The reason I came in is because I've talked about it several times."

The film academy did not respond to the messages Thursday night.

Since then, Hart has eliminated some of the anti-gay tweets, mostly dated 2009-2011. But they had already been captured on-screen and shared online. In 2011, he wrote in an excluded tweet: "Hey, if my son comes home and tries to play with my daughters' dollhouse, I'll go over his head and say" my voice, stop being gay. "

In a previous post, Thursday, Hart wrote on the Instagram that critics should "stop being negative" about their early anti-gay comments.

"I'm almost 40. If you do not believe that people change, they grow, they evolve? I do not know what to say," said Hart, who added, in capital letters: "I love everyone."

Hart's attitudes about homosexuality were also a well-known part of his stand-up act. In 2010, "Seriously Funny," he said that "one of my biggest fears is my son growing up and being gay."

"Keep in mind I'm not homophobic, I have nothing against gays, do what you want to do, but I, being a heterosexual man, if I can stop my son from being gay, I will," Hart said.

GLAAD, the LGBTQ rights advocacy group, said on Thursday it had sought broadcaster Oscar, ABC, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and Hart's direction to "discuss Kevin's rhetoric and anti-LGBT record" .

Actress Jamie Lee Curtis wrote, "Homophobia is not positivity." The comedian and actor Billy Eichner said that "a simple and authentic apology showing any understanding or remorse would have been so simple."

It's not the first time an Oscar host has been derailed by anti-gay comments. Before the 2012 Oscar, producer Brett Ratner, who had been paired with host Eddie Murphy, resigned days after using a gay insult at a movie screening. Murphy soon left too.

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