Film

Kevin Hart Steps Down As Oscars Host Following Backlash To Past Homophobia

Many are calling for him to be removed as the host of the 2019 Oscars.

Content warning: the following article includes uncensored homophobic slurs and phrases.


UPDATE #2: Kevin Hart has stepped down from his role as Oscars host. In a new tweet he announced his decision, also apologising to the LGBTQ community for his past words.

UPDATE: Kevin Hart has recently posted a new Instagram video from Australia where he is currently on tour. In it he states he has just received a call from the Academy giving him an ultimatum to apologise for his past tweets or he’ll be removed as Oscars host. He says he has “passed” on it. You can watch the video below, we expect a statement from the Academy sometime soon.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE: Earlier this week comedian Kevin Hart was announced as the host for the 2019 Academy Awards. Unlike the near-simultaneous news that Andy Samberg and Sandra Oh would be MCs for the Golden Globes though, a lot of people are incredibly not down with Hart’s appointment, dredging up his many previous instances of homophobia.

The accusations levelled at Hart come from two main arenas. The first is his long history of the use of the phrases “fag” and “no homo” in a litany of tweets spanning several years and the second, far more harmful behaviour, is his frequent comedic output in his stand-up and elsewhere surrounding a fear and disgust that his own son would one day come out as gay.

The vast majority of these incidents occurred prior to 2011, with the offensive tweets in particular since deleted. But as this is the internet we’re talking about, nothing disappears forever.

A forgiving person might expect Hart, a much bigger star now than he was in 2011 and with the eyes of the world set to descend on him as Oscars host, to distance himself from his past, apologise and confirm he is now a changed person who is trying to do better. Yeah, nah, that has 100% not happened.

In light of the resurgence in accusations of bigotry, Hart has today posted a video on Instagram that can be pretty much summed up as “leave me alone, I don’t give a shit”.

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

Despite claiming in the accompanying comment that people indeed learn, grow and mature, Kevin Hart refuses to engage with the conversation surrounding his homophobic output. The whole response is an utter shirking of responsibility for his actions, of the impact they cause to the LGBTIQ community and his role as a hugely popular public figure.

People were not having a bar of his thoroughly weak response, with calls to remove him as Oscar’s host only seeming to increase in number and fervour.

Hart’s defenders are few and far between with really only his wife stepping in to say that only God can judge him. Wrong Eniko, I’m judging him right now.

One of the more thorough takedowns of just how problematic Hart’s attitude to the ongoing saga is, comes to us via Pose star Indya Moore who posted the following comments on his Instagram:

kevin hart ig screenshot 2 kevin hart ig screenshot 1

The Academy is yet to respond to the outcry to dump him as host although there is some precedence in its history to do just that as Brett Ratnor was forced to resign as a producer for the 2011 show after video of him saying “rehearsing is for fags” was leaked.

With the entertainment industry at the fore of societal change amongst the #MeToo era, having an Academy Awards host who not only has a past riddled with latent homophobia, but refuses to acknowledge or apologise for it, is a backwards step. Yes, his bigoted behaviour is mostly from the past decade but if Kevin Hart is unable to provide an earnest, heartfelt apology combined with a real-world demonstration that he’s changed he does not deserve to be the face of this or any awards shows.