Kevin Hart is stepping down as Oscars host just two days after the Academy announced he would take on the high-profile job. The move came after the star faced a mounting controversy following old tweets surfaced in which Hart expressed anti-gay sentiments and used homophobic terminology and slurs.
In a tweet late Thursday, Hart officially withdrew from hosting the Oscars, a role he had long wanted to step into. He tweeted the following:
Earlier in the evening, Hart had posted an Instagram video from Sydney, Australia, where he is currently on tour, saying that he had refused a demand from the Academy to apologize. He said the Academy gave him an ultimatum: apologize for his old tweets or step down as Oscars host.
“I passed. The reason I passed is because I’ve addressed this several times. This is not the first time this has come up,” he said. “Regardless, to the Academy, I’m thankful for the opportunity, if it goes away, no harm, no foul,” Hart added.
The tweets in question stem from a 2011 tweet in which the comedian and movie star had said:
“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.'”
In another from 2010, Hart says someone’s profile pic looks “like a gay bill board for AIDS.” Back in 2009, he called someone a “fat faced fag.”
The tweets drew condemnation from the likes of actor-comedian Billy Eichner, Pose star Indya Moore and Ryan Murphy.