Kevin Hart Quits Oscar Hosting Gig Amid Backlash Over Homophobic Tweets

"I'm sorry that I hurt people."

Two days after being announced as the host for the 91st Academy Awards, Kevin Hart is stepping down after homophobic remarks he made on Twitter surfaced on Thursday (December 6).

In the series of tweets published between 2009 and 2011, the entertainer makes frequent anti-gay comments, even threatening his son with violence if he caught him playing with dolls.

“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,'” read one of the now deleted tweets from 2011.

In other tweets Hart insults celebrities and basketball players by calling them “gay” or “fag.” In one tweet, Hart says actor Damien Dante Wayans’ photo looks like an AIDS poster.

Hart took to social media to issue an apology to the LGBTQ community and announce he will no longer host the award show so he isn’t a “distraction”

“I have made the choice to step down from hosting this year’s Oscar’s,” he 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. I’m sorry that I hurt people…I am evolving and want to continue to do so. My goal is to bring people together not tear us apart. Much love & appreciation to the Academy. I hope we can meet again.”

This statement followed a previous non-apology Hart posted on Instagram. In the video message, Hart is seen laying in bed saying he’s grown, has changed, and people should “stop looking for reasons to be angry.”

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

In another Instagram post on Thursday, Hart said the Academy asked him to apologize, or they would find another host. Hart is seen in the video saying he will “stand his ground” and not “feed the internet trolls.”

Hart, 39, has also made homophobic “jokes” in his past comedy shows.

“One of my biggest fears is my son growing up and being gay,” he said in a 2010 standup performance. “That’s a fear. Keep in mind, I’m not homophobic. I have nothing against gay people. Be happy. Do what you want to do. But me being a heterosexual male, if I can prevent my son from being gay, I will.”

The entertainer addressed this joke in an interview with Rolling Stone in 2015.

“I wouldn’t tell that joke today, because when I said it, the times weren’t as sensitive as they are now,” he said in 2015. “I think we love to make big deals out of things that aren’t necessarily big deals, because we can.”

The December 5 announcement of Hart hosting the Oscars was quite late for The Academy which now finds itself on the hunt for a new emcee. Many sources say the organization had trouble finding someone.

The organization has yet to issue a statement about Hart. The ceremony will be held on February 24, 2019.

Lamar Dawson is a pop culture junkie and pop diva addict living in Manhattan. Follow him on everything @dirrtykingofpop.