Kevin Hart announced Friday morning that he is stepping down from hosting this year’s Oscars ceremony after backlash over a string of old tweets that were homophobic.

“I have made the choice to step down from hosting this year’s Oscar’s,” Hart tweeted. “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.”

The apology comes hours after he posted an Instagram video in which he said he refused to say sorry for the tweets because he spoke about similar jokes in the past.

“I passed on the apology. The reason why I passed is because I’ve addressed this several times.” – Kevin Hart

“This is not the first time this has come up,” Hart said in the video. “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. I’ve done it. I’ve done it. 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 space in my life. The same energy that went into finding those old tweets could be the same energy put into finding the response to the questions that have been asked years after years after years. We’re feeding the internet trolls, and we reward them. I’m not going to do it, man. I’m going to be me and stand my ground.”

The comedian was announced as the host of the 91st Academy Awards this week. After the reveal, several users on social media dug up tweets to disqualify the honor, which has become a trend of the platform.

According to BuzzFeed News, one of the tweets from 2011 read, “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.’”

Several of the anti-gay tweets were deleted but others remain.  It is noted that after Hart addressed his homophobic language in his stand-up routines in 2011, he stopped being offensive toward the LGBTQ community.

In another video before his apology, the Night School star said, “My team calls me: ‘Oh my god, Kevin the world is upset about tweets you wrote eight years ago.’”

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

A post shared by Kevin Hart (@kevinhart4real) on

He added, “If you don’t believe people change, grow, evolve as they get older, then I don’t know what to tell you. If you want to hold people in a position where they always have to justify or explain their past, do you. I’m the wrong guy, man.”

There are no details on who will replace Hart but the 2019 Oscars will air at 8 p.m. EST Feb. 24 on ABC.



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