Update: Kevin Hart has stepped down as host of the Academy Awards.
— Original Story —
Things could be better for Kevin Hart.
The blockbuster comic and forthcoming Oscar host has come under fire for meticulously deleting old homophobic tweets after being called out by users on Twitter earlier this week. The tweets are as recent as 2011.
“I wonder when Kevin Hart is gonna start deleting all his old tweets,” The Guardian’s Michael Lee tweeted on Tuesday, December 4th, going on to share several screenshots of said tweets. In one of the tweets dating back to 2011, Hart jokes: “Yo if my son comes home & try’s 2 play with my daughters doll house I’m going 2 break it over his head & say n my voice ‘stop that’s gay’.”
Lee also shared an anecdote from a 2015 Rolling Stone profile, which features one of Hart’s cagey quotes from his 2010 special, Seriously Funny. In the special, Hart says one of his “biggest fears is my son growing up and being gay,” despite admitting, “I’m not homophobic… Be happy. Do what you want to do. But me, as a heterosexual male, if I can prevent my son from being gay, I will.”
At the time, Hart told Rolling Stone that, “I wouldn’t tell that joke today, because when I said it, the times weren’t as sensitive as they are now. I think we love to make big deals out of things that aren’t necessarily big deals, because we can. These things become public spectacles. So why set yourself up for failure?”
Check out Lee’s tweet below, which features several of Hart’s tweets.
Following Lee, another user went even further…
At first, Hart avoided making any direct response to the controversy, though he did post a few tweets — involving his kids, coincidentally — that alluded to the ensuing vitriol.
Tonight, however, Hart finally issued a response with a video post on his Instagram account that essentially amounts to a shrug off.
“I swear man, our world is becoming beyond crazy,” he says. “I’m not going to let the craziness frustrate me or anger me, especially when I’ve worked hard to get to the mental space where I am at now.
“My team calls me, ‘Oh my God, Kevin, this world is upset about tweets you did years ago,’” he continues. “Guys. I’m almost 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 or explain their past, then do you. I’m the wrong guy, man. I’m in a great place, a great mature place, where all I do is spread positivity.”
He also included an extensive caption, which insists he lives for positivity and concludes: “I LOVE EVERYBODY…..ONCE AGAIN EVERYBODY. If you choose to not believe me then that’s on you….Have a beautiful day.”
Watch the video and read the full caption below.
View this post on Instagram
Stop looking for reasons to be negative…Stop searching for reasons to be angry….I swear I wish you guys could see/feel/understand the mental place that I am in. I am truly happy people….there is nothing that you can do to change that…NOTHING. I work hard on a daily basis to spread positivity to all….with that being said. If u want to search my history or past and anger yourselves with what u find that is fine with me. I’m almost 40 years old and I’m in love with the man that I am becoming. You LIVE and YOU LEARN & YOU GROW & YOU MATURE. I live to Love….Please take your negative energy and put it into something constructive. Please….What’s understood should never have to be said. I LOVE EVERYBODY…..ONCE AGAIN EVERYBODY. If you choose to not believe me then that’s on you….Have a beautiful day
Update – 11:00 p.m. EST: Things continue to escalate for Hart, who’s just released another video on Instagram. This time, he explains how the Academy called and gave him an ultimatum, insisting he either apologize for his tweets or move on.
He opted out of apologizing, arguing, “The reason why I passed is because I’ve addressed this several times. This is not the first time this has come up. I’ve addressed it. I’ve spoken on it. I’ve said where the rights and wrongs were. I’ve said who I am now versus who I was then. I’ve done it. 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 place in my life.”
Hart is currently set to host next year’s Academy Awards, which is set to take place on February 24, 2019.