Kevin Hart is stepping down as the host of next year’s Academy Awards less than 24 hours after he was confirmed to host it. The comedian made the decision amid the resurfacing of years old controversial tweets in which he used homophobic and transphobic slurs. More on the report below.
Hart made the announcement on Twitter last night: Here’s what he had to say.
Before the decision to step down was made, Hart was given an ultimatum by the academy: apologize for the tweets or step down. The comedian then took to Instagram to refuse to apologize, saying that he’s already addressed the issue several times and that he would not apologize for jokes from days of old. “The same energy that went into finding those old tweets, could be the same energy that could be put into finding the response to the questions that have been asked years after years after years,” Hart said. “We feed the Internet trolls and we reward them. I am not going to do it, man. I am going to be me. I am going to stand my ground. Regardless, to the Academy, I’m thankful for the opportunity, if it goes away, no harm, no foul.”
The strange irony of it all is that he did eventually apologize, but it was after he stepped down.
Now it is up to 91st Oscar producer Donna Gigliotti to find a replacement for the annual awards show, which airs live on February 24, 2019. But it has been increasingly difficult to find a host. The job has become less and less appealing throughout the years, with previous hosts vowing that they would not return. Although, there have been a few returnees in recent years to emcee the most glamorous event, with Billy Crystal famously hosting 9 times from 1990 to 2012. Still, the race is on to find the right host who can give the show a much-needed rating boost.
It should be interesting to see how quickly Gigliotti is able to find a replacement and who would take that job. Will that person walk out unscathed? We will just have to wait and see.