On Wednesday afternoon, comedian Kevin Hart was announced as the guest for the upcoming 91st Academy Awards. Thursday night, he had resigned.
The turn of events sparked clamor over previous anti-gay tweets and comments made by Hart during the stand-up routines almost 10 years ago. Some of the tweets were feverishly canceled all day Thursday, leading to a video of Instragram from the comedian who only made things worse for him.
"My team calls me," Oh my God, Kevin, everyone is upset by the tweets you did years ago, "he said in that video. "Boys, I'm almost 40. If you do not believe that people change, grow, evolve as they grow older, I do not know what to tell you, if you want to keep people in a position where they always have to justify the past, are not they? wrong, friend. "
Those words sounded like no excuses to challenge for many. Hours later, Hart reemerged with another video stating that the Academy of Arts and Sciences had given him an ultimatum: apologize or find a new guest.
"I chose to apologize," the 39-year-old actor-comedian said in the video. "The reason I went through it is because I turned to this several times, this is not the first time this came out, I've dealt with it, I've talked about it, I said where the rights and the wrong were I said who I am now against who I was then … I did, I'm not going back and drawing on old times when I moved and I'm in a completely different place in my life. "
Even that sounded empty for many. Less than two hours later, Hart announced via Twitter that he was withdrawing from the concert and eventually offered an apology that everyone was looking for.
"I made the choice to leave Oscars of this year," he wrote. "That's because I do not want to be a distraction on an evening that should be celebrated by so many talented artists." "I sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past." "I'm sorry I hurt people. I want to keep doing it, my goal is to bring people together and not split up.Much love and appreciation for the Academy.I hope to meet again. "
Now the Academy is in the unenviable position of throwing a network once again to fill a role that clearly nobody wanted in the first place; The December 5 announcement of Hart as emcee was rather late and sources say the organization had more trouble than usual in finding someone who would have to face their show.
The Academy did not respond to a request for comment.