Kevin Hart Steps Down As 2019 Oscars Host After Old Tweets Resurface (UPDATED)
UPDATE (12/7/18, 6:08 a.m. ET): Kevin Hart won't be hosting the 91st Academy Awards after all. The comedian has publicly stepped down from his hosting duties after some of his past homophobic tweets surfaced on Thursday (December 6). The years-old tweets — some of which have since been deleted — used anti-gay language and even promoted violence against the queer community.
In a video posted to Instagram, Hart said the Academy had given him an ultimatum: apologize or they were going to have to find another host. After refusing to apologize, he took to Twitter to officially resign as this year's master of ceremonies. In a series of tweets, he said he made the decision because he did not "want to be a distraction on a night that should be celebrated by so many amazing talented artists."
The envelope please! The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has finally settled on a host for the prestigious February ceremony, and the honor goes to... Kevin Hart!
"For years I have been asked if I would ever host the Oscars and my answer was always the same," the comedian began an Instagram post announcing the big news. "I said that it would be the opportunity of a lifetime for me as a comedian and that it will happen when it's suppose[d] to."
And after years of campaigning for the job, that time has arrived. "I am so happy to say that the day has finally come for me to host the Oscars," he wrote. (Clearly, the Academy was impressed by Hart's acting skills opposite Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Nick Jonas in last winter's Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and his comedic chemistry with Tiffany Haddish in September's Night School. Or maybe by his and The Rock's stellar hosting stint at the MTV Movie Awards in 2016.)
In true acceptance speech-fashion, Hart then took a moment to reflect on achieving "a goal on my list for a long time" and joining the "legendary list of host[s] that have graced that stage" — a list that includes Jimmy Kimmel, Billy Crystal, Steve Martin, Ellen DeGeneres, Chris Rock, Neil Patrick Harris, Anne Hathaway and James Franco, and many more.
He rounded out the post by shouting out his late mom and thanking his family, friends, and fans. "I will be sure to make this year[']s Oscars a special one," he vowed, and signed off with, "Now it's time to rise to the occasion."