Comedian and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle star Kevin Hart defended himself against the criticism he has faced since being named the next host of the Oscars, telling critics who brought up old homophobic tweets and his controversial past to "take your negative energy and put it into something constructive."
Hart got the Oscars hosting gig on Tuesday. Since then, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences have been criticized for the pick, citing his controversial comments. In December 2017, he admitted to cheating on his wife, Eniko Parrish, while she was pregnant with their son.
In his memoir I Can't Make This Up, he said his marriage to Torrei Hart got violent. And in 2010, he joked that he feared his son would be "growing up and being gay." BuzzFeed also reported that Hart was deleting homophobic tweets.
Hart responded to the criticism with a black and white video on Instagram, alongside a long message.
View this post on Instagram
Stop looking for reasons to be negative...Stop searching for reasons to be angry....I swear I wish you guys could see/feel/understand the mental place that I am in. I am truly happy people....there is nothing that you can do to change that...NOTHING. I work hard on a daily basis to spread positivity to all....with that being said. If u want to search my history or past and anger yourselves with what u find that is fine with me. I’m almost 40 years old and I’m in love with the man that I am becoming. You LIVE and YOU LEARN & YOU GROW & YOU MATURE. I live to Love....Please take your negative energy and put it into something constructive. Please....What’s understood should never have to be said. I LOVE EVERYBODY.....ONCE AGAIN EVERYBODY. If you choose to not believe me then that’s on you....Have a beautiful day
"I swear our world is becoming beyond crazy," Hart said. "I'm not going to let the craziness frustrate me or anger me, especially how I worked so hard to get to the mental space that I am at now. If my team calls me - 'Oh my God, the world is upset about tweets you did years ago.' Oh my God, guys, I'm almost 40 years old. If you don't believe people change, grow, evolve as they get older... I don't know what to tell you."
Hart went on to say that all he does is "spread positivity" today, echoing the statement he made in the accompanying caption.
"Stop looking for reasons to be negative... Stop searching for reasons to be angry," Hart wrote. "I swear I wish you guys could see/feel/undersant the mental place that I am in. I am truly happy people... there is nothing that you can do to chance that... NOTHING. I work hard on a daily basis to spread positivity to all... with that being said. If u want to search my history or past and anger yourselves with what u find that is fine with me. I'm almost 40 years old and I'm in love with the man that I am becoming."
Hart continued, "You LIVE and YOU LEARN & YOU GROW & YOU MATURE. I live to Love... Please take your negative energy and put it into something constructive."
According to BuzzFeed, The Guardian's Benjamin Lee was the first to notice Hart began deleting years-old tweets with homophobic jokes. In one joke, he said someone looked like a "gay bill board for AIDS" and referred to another person as a "FAT F–."
In a 2009 tweet, Hart wrote, "I just saw the biggest gay guy ever! This n– looked like hulf hogan with heels on! I can't lie I got scared!!!!!!"
After seeing this @benfraserlee tweet, I did a search for every time Kevin Hart tweeted "fag," "homo," or "gay." It was…a lot. And he seems to have basically stopped tweeting those words after 2011 — i.e. the year his first stand-up movie became a hit. //t.co/P8nTOilFgx pic.twitter.com/6uzPhnvt4F— Adam B. Vary (@adambvary) December 5, 2018
"GLAAD reached out to ABC, The Academy and Kevin Hart's management to discuss his rhetoric and record as well as opportunities for positive LGBTQ inclusion on the Oscars stage," GLAAD said in a statement to BuzzFeed. "They have not yet responded."