Kevin Hart Steps Down as Oscars Host: Backlash for Infidelity, Alleged Homophobia Pushed Comedian Out

Kevin Hart stepped down from hosting the upcoming Oscar Awards after a series of homophobic tweets surfaced on Thursday.

The comedian's tweets from 2009 to 2011 included derogatory language referring to gay people and also made disparaging remarks about sexuality. Some of the tweets have since been deleted.

"I have made the choice to step down from hosting this year's Oscar's," Hart said on social media Thursday. "This is because I do not want to be a distraction on a night that should be celebrated by so many amazing talented artists."

He continued, "I sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past. 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."

The post followed another in which hart said the Academy asked him to apologize or they would find another host. Hart defiantly said he chose not to issue an apology and step down instead, saying he did not want to contribute to "feeding the internet trolls."

"The reason why I passed is because I've addressed this several time," he said. "I'm not going to continue to go back and tap into the days of old when I've moved on and I'm in a completely different space in my life."

"We feed into internet trolls and we reward them. I'm not gonna do it, man," Hart said. "I'm gonna be me. I'm gonna stand my ground."

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Hart's controversial comments resurfaced almost immediately after the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences announced that Hart would be the leading man at 2019's Oscars.

The Guardian's Benjamin Lee noticed that years-old offensive tweets were being deleted from Hart's timeline.

In one tweet that has been deleted, Hart said, "Yo if my son comes home & 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'."

In another, he joked that someone looked like "a gay bill board for AIDS" and called another person a "FAT F—."

In 2010, Hart also infamously joked during a stand-up performance that his fear was his son "growing up and being gay."

Chad Griffin, the head of an LGBT civil rights advocacy group called the Human Rights Campaign, responded to Hart on Twitter.

"You have a rare opportunity to take responsibility, teach people in this moment, & send a message to LGBTQ youth that they matter & deserve dignity & respect. You say you've grown. Show us. Make amends for hurtful things you've said & affirm LGBTQ people," Griffin said.

Awards Watch founder Erik Anderson also put Hart on blast. "Considering howmany of the Oscars' biggest fans are women and gay men it's quite something for the Academy to hire a guy who beat one wife, cheated on another when she was eight months pregnant and said one of his biggest fears is his son growing up and being gay," Anderson said.

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Hart previously admitted to being unfaithful to his wife, Eniko Parrish, while she was pregnant with his youngest son, and wrote about being violent with his first wife, Torrei Hart, in his memoir.

The 91st Academy Awards are scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019.