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Kevin Hart Quits The Oscars Over Apology Ultimatum, Then Apologizes

By Kristy Puchko | Film | December 7, 2018 |

By Kristy Puchko | Film | December 7, 2018 |


Well, that was quick. Hours after Kevin Hart posted a bizarre, shirtless statement to Instagram, the comedian has surrendered hosting the 90th Annual Academy Awards.

Apparently, his non-apology didn’t go over very well, because Hart offered a follow-up post four hours later, revealing The Academy has given him an ultimatum: apologize or you’re out.

I know who I am & so do the people closest to me. #LiveLoveLaugh

A post shared by Kevin Hart (@kevinhart4real) on

In the post, he says:

So, I just got a call from The Academy and that call basically said,”Kevin, apologize for those tweets of old, or we’re going to have to move on and find another host. Talking about the tweets of 2009/2010.

Actually, he was still tweeting “fag” into 2011. Plus, people were also upset about a bit on his Seriously Funny tour, where he joked about assaulting his son to prevent the boy from being gay.

I chose to pass. I passed on the apology. The reason why I’ve passed is because I’ve addressed this several times. This is not the first time this has come up. I’ve addressed it. I’ve spoken on it. I’ve said where the rights and wrongs were. I’ve said who I am now, versus who I was then.

Note: Hart never even claims to have apologized.

I’ve done it. I’ve done it. 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. The same energy that went into finding those old tweets can be the same as into finding the response to the questions that have been asked years after years after years.

Yup. It’s pretty easy to google “Kevin Hart homophobic.” We did that, as did a bunch of other sites.

We feed the internet trolls and we reward them. I’m not going to do it, man. I’m going to be me. I’m going to stand my ground. Regardless, Academy, I’m thankful and appreciative of the opportunity. If it goes away, no harm no foul.

Like in the earlier video, Hart suggests that he’s the real victim of his homophobic remarks, and those who’ve spoken out against them are in the wrong. He’s denounced his critics as “angry,” “negative” and “trolls.” And he gave up a gig that he previously claimed was a dream job, just so he didn’t have to apologize for a slew of blatantly homophobic remarks. That’s the stand he chose to take. And be warned: if you delve into comments on his posts, a lot of his fans agree with him. Some express that this is overblown. Some boast homophobic language of their own in their show of support.

About an hour later after the above Instagram post, Hart officially gave up his job as the Oscar’s host. And bizarrely, he did so while apologizing directly to the queer community.

If Hart had tweeted that on Wednesday, this probably would have blown over with his Oscars gig intact. Hell, if he’d have tweeted that yesterday instead of posting his “I’m in love with the man I’m becoming” gram, this probably would have blown over. But any apology after that seems insincere and like damage control, especially after declaring that he’d rather lose the hosting job than apologize to “trolls.” So what does this accomplish?

Hart will continue to tour and sell-out stadiums as a stand-up artist. Clearly, stand-up as a medium has a pretty high tolerance for bad behavior. So, Hart will be fine there. He doesn’t care what the Academy thinks of him, likely because they’ll never give him an award, not with their comedy bias. Cynical as it may be, I suspect his dramatic change of heart came because his agent(s) pleaded this could hurt his movie stardom. Every press tour he does for the next year at least, he will be asked about this, and so may his co-stars, which could put some major celebs in front of questions they don’t want to answer.

I suspect Hart might not do press for The Secret Life of Pets 2, and that Dwayne Johnson’s team is formulating a statement in preparation for the upcoming Untitled Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle Sequel. Beyond that, Hart’s lined up to appear in yet-to-be-shot films Uptown Saturday Night, Ride Along 3, The Great Outdoors, and—I kid you not—My Own Worst Enemy. He’s a producer on the latter two, so those gigs are probably safe. But I won’t be surprised if Hart takes a break from acting to focus more on other ambitions.


Kevin Hart has tweeted again.

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Kristy Puchko is the managing editor of Pajiba. You can follow her on Twitter.

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