“I am so happy to say that the day has finally come for me to host the Oscars,” he wrote. “To be able to join the legendary list of host [sic] that have graced that stage is unbelievable.”
For years I have been asked if I would ever Host the Oscars and my answer was always the same…I said that it would be the opportunity of a lifetime for me as a comedian and that it will happen when it’s suppose to. I am so happy to say that the day has finally come for me to host the Oscars. I am blown away simply because this has been a goal on my list for a long time….To be able to join the legendary list of host that have graced that stage is unbelievable. I know my mom is smiling from ear to ear right now. I want to thank my family/friends/fans for supporting me & riding with me all this time….I will be sure to make this years Oscars a special one. I appreciate the @TheAcademy for the opportunity ….now it’s time to rise to the occasion #Oscars
The Academy confirmed Hart’s announcement on Twitter.
— The Academy (@TheAcademy) December 5, 2018
USA Today reported last month that the host and his wife, Eniko Hart, threw a “cowboys and Indians” party for their son Kenzo’s first birthday. Eniko Hart posted photos of the celebration on Instagram on Thanksgiving (November 22). Hart rejected accusations of cultural insensitivity and appropriation by admonishing critics for being too sensitive and missing the point on his Sirius XM show, “Straight From the Hart.”
“This isn’t a racial slur that people are doing and being malicious with,” Hart explained, as quoted by USA Today. “This is a game that’s been played for years.”
.@KevinHart4real on dressing up kids as Native Americans: “This is a game that’s been played for years.” Blackface was accepted for decades, so it’s ok when some jackass wears it? It’s always been, so let’s keep doing it? Fuck that. Racism kills. #NotYourMascot #NotYourCostume pic.twitter.com/Oshq2QbKZ9
— tara houska (@zhaabowekwe) November 29, 2018
Several Indigenous Twitter users and allies reminded followers of the incident after Hart announced his new gig:
Well #NativeTwitter, @TheAcademy has decided to take a step back in the way they respect Indigenous people by allowing an unapologetic and anti-native @KevinHart4real the mic this year as Host for the Oscars.
— Johnnie Jae aka The Brown Ball of Fury (@johnniejae) December 5, 2018
Megyn Kelly said racist-blackface was OK and her show was cancelled. Kevin Hart promoted and defended his racist-native American party & he gets the Oscar gig? Okayyy. 🙄
— Frank Grimes (@frankgrimes2570) December 5, 2018
It was tokenism when they trotted out Wes Studi last year at the Oscars (after a short film on representation & inclusion, which neither represented nor included Native Americans).
— Frances Danger (@FrancesMFDanger) December 5, 2018