In this day and age, it is becoming frequent that a person’s past missteps can resurface in the present and make his career, even his life, difficult. Situations like that of filmmaker James Gunn, who got booted off the director’s chair for his third “Guardians of the Galaxy” film by Disney-Marvel, are occurring at an alarming rate. Recently, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences selected comedian Kevin Hart to host the Oscars next year, only for old tweets of his with slurs and words targeting the LGBT community abruptly resurfaced to the public. This has led to him declining Academy Awards hosting duty.
The Hollywood Reporter has it that Kevin Hart is stepping down from being host of the 91st Oscars as of Thursday, December 6. His announcement comes only two days after he was first picked by AMPAS on Monday, December 4. The brouhaha began when in the wake of his selection, social media floated a number of Twitter posts Hart made from 2010 to 2011 that contained some anti-gay sentiments that were figurative shots fired at the LGBT. When he earlier noted that he saw no need to apologize for something he wrote years ago, criticism at Hart reached boiling point.
AMPAS itself had been among the voices that called on Hart to say sorry for the content of his past tweets, a notion he refused and thus ultimately led to his decision now. “I have made the choice to step down from hosting this year’s Oscar’s,” read one of his Thursday Twitter entries. “This is because I do not want to be a distraction on a night that should be celebrated by so many amazing talented artists. I sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past.” A follow-up tweet intimated that he was sorry if his past words hurt people.
This has not been the first time that the Academy Awards ceremony was beset by troubles wrought by the controversy of ill-intended words. Brett Ratner, producer of the 84th Oscars back in 2011 absently dropped a gay slur during a Q&A leading up to the event. His departure spurred that year’s original choice for host, Eddie Murphy, to resign with him and be replaced by Billy Crystal on the stage. The 91st Academy Awards are set for February 24, 2019, so they will need to find a new host soon.
Image courtesy of Entertainment Weekly