After a lot of back-and-forth between Kevin Hart and his Instagram followers, he has decided to step down as the host of the 2019 Academy Awards, following the resurfacing of several old tweets of his that were more than a little homophobic.
In addition to posting tweets where he joked about AIDS and used homophobic slurs, Hart also has a history of homophobic stand-up sets.
In his 2010 special, Seriously Funny, he said that one of his biggest fears was that his son would turn out to be gay. He added, “If I can prevent my son from being gay, I will.”
I mean… what on earth does that mean? Conversion therapy? Beating it out of him?
Hart’s homophobic jokes were no laughing matter, and while many of them were old, there’s no real indication that Hart has apologised, learned from his mistakes, and made amends to the gay community.
Following an online backlash, Hart posted an uncomfortably intimate Instagram video, in which he’s shirtless and rambling about how ‘crazy’ the world has become, because it’s now easier than ever to hold people accountable for the awful things they’ve said.
Instead of apologising, he explained that he’s a positive person who loves everybody, and he’s also “in love with the man he’s becoming”. It was a fantastic way to completely avoid any sort of accountability and a masterclass in making a situation about yourself instead of the community hurt by your actions.
Then, two hours ago, he posted a second video explaining that the Academy had just called him and asked him to apologise for his tweets, otherwise his hosting gig would be in jeopardy.
He again declined to apologise, because when you’re that famous the idea of there being consequences for your actions is unfathomable and undesirable.
Just as media outlets were publishing that story, the news dropped that Hart was stepping down as host of the Oscars. In his tweet, he did apologise to the LGBTQ community, but after two videos in which he insisted he didn’t need to, it feels a little hollow.
In my opinion, the only way forward now is to choose a gay person to host the Oscars instead. My vote is for Hannah Gadsby, who, if nothing else, would make a lot of men in the room feel incredibly uncomfortable. Wouldn’t that be a delight to see?