LOS ANGELES (AP) – Kevin Hart has stepped down as Oscars host following an outcry over previous anti-gay tweets by the comedian.
Hart posted on Twitter early Friday an apology to the LGBTQ community for his past words.
He said he stepped down so as not to be a distraction on a night that should be celebrated by so many amazing talented artists.
Kevin Hart’s initial response to the tweets further inflamed the backlash. On Thursday, Hart wrote on Instagram that critics should “stop being negative” after years-old tweets surfaced in which he used homophobic slurs. In an accompanying video, a shirtless Hart said he wasn’t going to “let the craziness frustrate me.” Hart said he “loves everybody.”
In a 2010 stand-up special, Hart said “if I can prevent my son from being gay, I will.”
The film academy on Tuesday announced Hart as host to its February ceremony. A representative for the academy didn’t respond to messages Thursday.
(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)