Well, that was quick.
Two days after being named the Oscar host for next year’s awards ceremony (a nearly impossible job to assign given that the show is in, you know, a couple of months), Kevin Hart has excused himself from the position. The reason comes from the resurfacing of a number of hate-filled homophobic tweets that he posted years ago, as well as excerpts from various interviews and stand-up routines that could be easily classified as homophobic. (It was noted that, following the Oscar assignment, he was hastily deleting those old tweets.)
"I have made the choice to step down from hosting this year's Oscar's....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," Hart tweeted. He then added: “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."
What makes this whole thing even more fascinating is how, up until that point, he had been so defiant. After Billy Eichner and others brought up his rather, er, complicated past with homosexuality, he posted a video yesterday from his hotel room in Sydney, Australia (where he’s touring), that was basically the equivalent of “haters gonna hate.” And earlier last night he posted another video, saying that the Academy had asked him to apologize or step down and he was still defiant (and, it should be noted, unapologetic). He actually said, if he loses the gig, “no harm, no foul,” except for, you know, the harm he already caused.
If this whole situation sounds familiar, it’s because in 2011, producer Brett Ratner, was fired after remarking that “rehearsal is for fags” while promoting his movie “Tower Heist.” Then-host Eddie Murphy stepped down in solidarity (because of course he did), which left Billy Crystal to step in. (Since that controversy, Brett Ratner has been accused of sexual misconduct, harassment, and just being a huge jerk, by actresses Ellen Page, Olivia Munn and Natasha Henstridge.)
It’s unclear who will step in for Hart, although hopefully it’s somebody with a clean record and an inclusive background. May we suggest Billy Eichner?