Kevin Hart Steps Down From Hosting Oscars After Backlash Over Homophobic Tweets

Mere days after Kevin Hart was announced as the Oscars’ 2019 host, the actor and comedian stepped down from the role last night and apologized for homophobic jokes.

In an apology posted to Twitter, Hart said that he did not “want to be a distraction on a night that should be celebrated by so many amazing talented artists.” He apologized to the queer community for “insensitive words from my past” and stressed that he wants to continue to grow as a person.

“I’m sorry that I hurt people.. I am evolving and want to continue to do so,” Hart tweeted. “My goal is to bring people together not tear us apart. Much love & appreciation to the Academy. I hope we can meet again.”

Hart’s statement comes after a plethora of homophobic jokes and tweets surfaced on social media, including a lengthy list of tweets and retweets from 2009 through 2011 in which Hart used slurs such as “gay,” “homo,” and “fag” in a demeaning manner.

In one case, Hart tweeted that if he caught his son playing with a doll house, he would break the house over his son’s head and say “stop that’s gay.” Meanwhile, Hart also received criticism for a 2010 standup joke in which he said one of his biggest fears is “my son growing up and being gay.”

“Keep in mind, I’m not homophobic, I have nothing against gay people, be happy. Do what you want to do,” Hart said, according to the Guardian. “But me, being a heterosexual male, if I can prevent my son from being gay, I will.”

Twitter users have since celebrated Hart’s removal, stressing that his homophobia had no place at the Oscars.

This article first appeared on The Daily Dot.