Kevin Hart resigned from his dream job as Oscars host on Thursday night following a backlash against homophobic remarks he had made on Twitter nearly a decade ago. He had resisted calls to apologize for these social media posts (despite having just deleted them) and issued an ultimatum to the academy.
Ironically, in announcing that he was stepping down as emcee of the Academy Awards, the comedian offered up the very apology he had refused to give just hours earlier.
I have made the choice to step down from hosting this year’s Oscar’s….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.
— Kevin Hart (@KevinHart4real) December 7, 2018
Hart had only had the gig for two days. As with his resignation, he broke the news that he would host the 91st annual Academy Awards with a Twitter post: “I am blown away simply because this has been a goal on my list for a long time. … To be able to join the legendary list of hosts that have graced this stage is unbelievable. I know my mom is smiling from ear to ear right now.” He added this vow: “I will be sure to make this year’s Oscars a special one.”
The ceremony is set for Feb. 24, which is just over 11 weeks from now. The academy was in a similar spot in 2011 when Eddie Murphy dropped out as host following the resignation of producer Brett Ratner over a gay slur. Back then, they turned to Billy Crystal, who had hosted eight times previously. This year, they need look no further than the board of governors for the perfect replacement: Whoopi Goldberg, who hosted the Oscars four times to much acclaim.