On December 4, Kevin Hart announced that he’d been tapped to host the Academy Awards next year, prompting swift backlash from Native Americans who had just finished decrying his choice to playact genocide with his son’s “cowboys and Indians” birthday party on Thanksgiving. He responded by saying, “This isn’t a racial slur that people are doing and being malicious with…. This is a game that’s been played for years.”
Just two days later, controversy knocked again when an editor at The Guardian resurfaced some of Hart’s old homophobic tweets—and they began to disappear from Twitter. Hart opted not to apologize for his behavior, instead telling people via Instagram to “stop looking for reasons to be negative.”
Hart later posted another video saying that the Academy gave him an ultimatum: if he didn’t apologize, it would find another host. He then tweeted that he was going to “stand his ground” and step down from the gig.
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.— Kevin Hart (@KevinHart4real) December 7, 2018
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.— Kevin Hart (@KevinHart4real) December 7, 2018
He later quoted civil rights leader Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. Martin Luther King, Jr.— Kevin Hart (@KevinHart4real) December 7, 2018
Sooo…potential Oscar hosts: Key & Peele Hasan Minhaj Hannah Gadsby Whoopi Goldberg Ali Wong John Leguizamo Queen Oprah Winfrey— Rebecca Theodore-Vachon (@FilmFatale_NYC) December 7, 2018
Key and Peele hosting the Oscars … pic.twitter.com/KJDT2UWjYR— Awaken the ghosts (@Ley_KJ) December 7, 2018
Tracee Ellis Ross should host the Oscars. #am2dm— Nichelle the Festivus Freak (@niche) December 7, 2018
can the academy get hasan minhaj to host the oscars you know since they don’t nominate asian actors at least they can get a asian host lmao— juie ? (@juierani) December 7, 2018
IWriteAllDay_) December 7, 2018
You know who else would make a great Oscar host? Will Smith. He has all the qualities needed. pic.twitter.com/FPgOTsrWDb— Rebecca Theodore-Vachon (@FilmFatale_NYC) December 7, 2018
Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones. Final answer.— Franklin Leonard (@franklinleonard) December 7, 2018