LOS ANGELES (CBS/AP) — Just two days after being named host of the Academy Awards, Kevin Hart has stepped down following an outcry over past homophobic tweets by the comedian.
Capping a swift fallout, Hart wrote on Twitter just after 9 p.m. Thursday that he was withdrawing as Oscars host because he didn’t want to be a distraction.READ MORE: Demonstration in Oakland to Protest Police Shootings Turns Violent
Hart stepped aside just about an hour after refusing to apologize for tweets that resurfaced after he was announced as Oscars host on Tuesday. 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 chose to pass on the apology,” Hart said. “The reason why I passed is because I’ve addressed this several times.”READ MORE: Man Ripping Down Flyers Promoting AAPI Anti-Hate Rally Caught on Camera in Mountain View
Hart has since deleted some of the anti-gay tweets, mostly dated from 2009-2011. But they had already been screen-captured and been shared online. In 2011, he wrote in a since-deleted tweet: “Yo if my son comes home & try’s 2 play with my daughters doll house I’m going 2 break it over his head & say n my voice ‘stop that’s gay.”
In an earlier post Thursday, Hart wrote on Instagram that critics should “stop being negative” about his earlier anti-gay remarks.
“I’m almost 40 years old. If you don’t believe that people change, grow, evolve? I don’t know what to tell you,” said Hart, who added, in all-caps: “I love everybody.”
Hart’s attitudes about homosexuality were also a well-known part of his stand-up act. In the 2010 special “Seriously Funny,” he said “one of my biggest fears is my son growing up and being gay.”Armed Bike Thieves Targeting Cyclists in the East Bay Hills
© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report