Comedian Kevin Hart tweeted late Thursday that he would be stepping down as Oscars host after old homophobic tweets of his had resurfaced. After Hart was named earlier this week as, many expressed outrage due to Hart’s history of derogatory jokes about the LGBTQ community on social media.
“I have made the choice to step down from hosting this year’s Oscar’s,” Hart posted on Twitter. “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.”
Earlier Thursday, Hart said in an Instagram video that the tweets were from “eight years ago,” but did not apologize. “I’m almost 40 years old. If you don’t believe that people change, grow, evolve? I don’t know what to tell you,” Hart said.
Hart posted another video saying the Academy told him to apologize or else they would find another host. He didn’t apologize in the video.
Hart has denied being anit-gay in the past, but in his 2010 standup special, he said “one of my biggest fears” is that his son would end up being gay.
In a now-deleted tweet from 2011, Hart wrote that if his son “try’s 2 play with my daughters doll house I’m going 2 break it over his head & say n my voice ‘stop that’s gay.'”