Comedian and actor Kevin Hart was announced as the host of the 91st annual Academy Awards on Wednesday. Just over a day later, he stepped down from the role.
Things went left when a series of anti-gay tweets and remarks were uncovered from his early days as a stand-up comedian almost 10 years ago. The tweets were quickly deleted on Thursday, and the Night School star posted a video to his Instagram seemingly refusing to apologize for the backlash.
"'My team calls me, 'Oh my God, Kevin, everyone's upset by tweets you did years ago,'" the comedian said in the video. "Guys, I’m nearly 40 years old. If you don't believe that people change, grow, evolve as they get older, I don't know what to tell you. If you want to hold people in a position where they always have to justify the past, do you. I'm the wrong guy, man."
His non-apology upset the people at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science. Several hours later, Hart disclosed that the Academy gave him an ultimatum: apologize or step down. Hart chose the latter.
"This is because I do not want to be a distraction on a night that should be celebrated by so many amazing talented artists," his tweet read.
I have made the choice to step down from hosting this year's Oscar's....this is because I do not want to be a distraction on a night that should be celebrated by so many amazing talented artists. I sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past.— Kevin Hart (@KevinHart4real) December 7, 2018
Early Friday morning, CNN anchor Don Lemon invited Hart to speak with him. In the 37-second video, the openly gay host called on the Get Hard star to use this opportunity to make him an ally.
"Kevin: call me, let's talk. Let's make you an ally to the LGBTQ community. I'm a member of the LGBTQ community," Lemon said. "I don't know you that well, but I do know you a little bit, and I believe that your heart could be in the right place. And you can move to become an LGBTQ ally."
"Call me, let's talk about this. Come on my show," the CNN host continued. "Come on the air, and let's discuss it. I will give you a fair shot to discuss all of this."
As Hart endures repercussions for his tweets, an open invitation from a fellow figure in the limelight is a step in the right direction for the actor to seek redemption from his critics.
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