Less than a week after he was announced, Kevin Hart has stepped down as the host of the 2019 Oscars ceremony following an outcry regarding past homophobic tweets and comments from the star.

On Friday (December 7th), following several days of people scrutinising tweets that Hart had composed up to eight years ago, the Ride Along comedian posted on Twitter that he would be withdrawing from the job of emceeing the 91st Academy Awards next February.

“I have made the choice to step down from hosting this year’s Oscars,” he wrote. “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Kevin HartKevin Hart has withdrawn as Oscars host

“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.”

Hart’s appointment on Tuesday meant that the 39 year old would have been one of the very few black hosts in Oscars history.

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However, a backlash after a significant number of Hart’s tweets from years back surfaced, in which he used homophobic terminology. Furthermore, a video clip from a 2010 stand-up special, in which the star made an extended joke about being afraid his three year old son would turn out gay, also came to light.

A few hours before that, Hart had posted to Instagram that the Academy had told him to apologise for the comments or else he would be removed.

“I chose to pass, I passed on the apology. The reason I chose to pass is because I’ve addressed this several times, this is not the first time this has come up, I’ve addressed this… 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,” he said in the clip. “Regardless, Academy, I’m thankful and appreciative of the opportunity. If it goes away no harm no foul.”

The 91st Academy Awards will take place at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles on February 24th, 2019.

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