The comedian decided to step down as host of the 2019 Oscars, a position he was named to just days earlier, after homophobic tweets from eight years ago re-emerged on Thursday. He said earlier in the day on Thursday that he had “evolved” in his views.
In a post on Instagram at about 11 p.m. Eastern time, Hart said he got a call from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and was asked to apologize for his prior tweets or step down as host. He would officially confirm is an exit on Twitter an hour later.
Kevin Hart, apologize for your tweets of old, or we’re going to have to move on,” Hart relayed about the call in the Instagram post.
He refused to apologize and decided to step down as host, he said in a post at midnight Eastern time on Twitter.
“I’ve moved on,” he said. “I’m in a completely different place in my life.
“The reason why I’ve passed is that I’ve addressed it several times,” he said on Instagram. “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.”
Hart wrote on Twitter, “I have made the choice to step down from hosting this year’s Oscars … this is because I do not want to be a distraction on a night that should be celebrated by so many amazingly talented artists.” He also apologized for “hurting people.”
Hart has enjoyed tremendous success at the box office in recent years. He’s been in five movies since 2013 that have grossed at least $95 million in the U.S.: “This is the End,” “Ride Along,” “Central Intelligence,” “The Secret Life of Pets” and “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.” “Jumanji,” in which he starred alongside Dwayne Johnson, was a massive success, totaling just over $400 million in the U.S. and nearly $1 billion worldwide.
His latest film, “Night School,” which he also wrote and produced, was a success as well, drawing $77 million at the box office since its release in September.
He is currently in Australia as part of his “Irresponsible” comedy tour.