On December 5th, reports announced that Kevin Hart would host the 2019 Academy Awards. However, Hart stepped down from the role (or, perhaps, was asked to step down) when he refused to apologize for a number of past homophobic tweets. Variety reports that the comedian tweeted his decision to forfeit the position on the night of December 6th.
As BuzzFeed News reported, the since-deleted tweets included Hart expressing fear that his son was gay, using homophobic slurs, and mocking gay men. According to Variety, the Academy later told the comedian he could either apologize or give up the hosting job. Hart refused to apologize, saying he has changed as a person since the decade-old tweets and that he has addressed the issue in the past.
When Hart did eventually step down, he tweeted that he did so because he didn’t want “to be a distraction on a night that should be celebrated by so many amazing talented artists” and apologized to the LGBT community for “insensitive words from my past.”
Hart appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on January 4th to explain why he refused to rehash his comments (in a move that many found problematic in and of itself), and now, Hart has apologized once again on the Monday, January 7th episode of his SiriusXM show, Straight From the Hart.
We’re unsure why the comedian found it so difficult to apologize for his past comments in the first place, even if he had, as he said, apologized in the past, but we suppose better late than never. We also hope that Hart uses this experience to grow as a person (especially as a person with a large public platform). What we say matters—especially when millions of people will be exposed to it.