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Kevin Hart Steps Down As 2019 Oscars Host

18 hours ago
Originally published on December 7, 2018 8:02 am
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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Kevin Hart will no longer be hosting the Academy Awards. The comedian stepped down overnight amid criticism of homophobic tweets he wrote years ago.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This criticism came shortly after Hart was announced as the emcee for the Academy Awards a couple days ago. People then dug into his Twitter timeline and found tweets from between 2009 and 2011. In one, he said that if his son played with a dollhouse, quote, "I'm going to break it over his head and say that's gay," end quote.

INSKEEP: Hart initially declined to apologize, instead pushing back in an Instagram video.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

KEVIN HART: 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.

INSKEEP: In a second video posted hours later, Hart said the Academy called him and asked him to apologize.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

HART: I chose to pass. I passed on the apology. The reason why I passed is because I've addressed this several times. This is not the first time that 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've done it.

GREENE: But last night, he backed out of the Oscars saying he didn't want to be a distraction. And he did apologize on Twitter, writing, I'm sorry I hurt people. I am evolving and want to continue to do so. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.