Comedian Kevin Hart steps down as host of the 2019 Oscars

Comedian Kevin Hart has stepped down as host of the 2019 Oscars after a bout of controversy.

Hart had been given an ultimatum by the Academy to choose between apologising for homophobic tweets he had made in the past, or lose the job.

Hart said the tweets were from a decade ago and that he was a different person then and has matured since. In a video posted on Instagram, the comedian said, "I chose to pass on the apology. The reason why I passed is because I've addressed this several times.

"I've said who I am now versus who I was then. 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 place in my life."

He continued, "Regardless, Academy, I’m thankful and appreciative of the opportunity. If it goes away, no harm, no foul.”

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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

A post shared by Kevin Hart (@kevinhart4real) on

Hours later, the 39-year-old posted an apology to the LGBTQ community on Twitter saying, "I sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past."

He added, "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 and appreciation to the Academy. I hope we can meet again."

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The homophobic tweets in question were re-posted on Twitter after Hart was officially announced as the Oscars host on Tuesday. What's more, a video re-surfaced of a stand-up special where Hart performed a gag that centred around his fear that his three-year-old son would be gay.

The academy will now have to look for a new host for the awards ceremony, which is in its 91st year and will take place in February.

Image: @kevinhart4real

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