Kevin Hart has stepped down as host of the 2019 Academy Awards.
The 39-year-old comedian took to Twitter to confirm he will no longer front next year's Oscars ceremony because he doesn't want to "be a distraction" following the emergence of past homophobic tweets, and he has said sorry to the LGBTQ community for his previous "insensitive words".
He tweeted: "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. (sic)"
Kevin - who revealed just two days ago he was to host the 2019 Academy Awards, describing the moment as "the opportunity of a lifetime" - also admitted he is hopeful he will be able meet Academy bosses again at some point.
He wrote: "I'm sorry that I hurt people.. I am evolving and want to continue to do so. My goal is to bring people together not tear us apart. Much love & appreciation to the Academy. I hope we can meet again. (sic)"
Kevin addressed his previous offensive tweets - some of which used the word "gay" as an insult, and all of which have now been deleted - on Thursday (06.12.18) by sharing a video of himself lying on a bed, and insisted he only tries to "spread positivity" nowadays.
Speaking on the Instagram video, he said: "I swear man our world is becoming beyond crazy. I'm not going to let the craziness frustrate me or anger me especially when I worked hard to get to the mental space that I am at now.
"My team calls me, 'Oh my God, Kevin, the world is upset about tweets you did years ago.' Oh my God. Guys, I'm almost 40 years old. If you don't believe that people grow, change, evolve as they get older, I don't know what to tell you.
"If you want to hold people in a position where they always have to justify or explain their past -- then do you.
"I'm the wrong guy, man. I'm in a great place, a great mature place where all I do is spread positivity. If you're not doing that, you're not on my page."
In the caption, he posted: "Stop looking for reasons to be negative...Stop searching for reasons to be angry....I swear I wish you guys could see/feel/understand the mental place that I am in. I am truly happy people....there is nothing that you can do to change that...NOTHING.
"I work hard on a daily basis to spread positivity to all....with that being said. If u want to search my history or past and anger yourselves with what u find that is fine with me. I'm almost 40 years old and I'm in love with the man that I am becoming. You LIVE and YOU LEARN & YOU GROW & YOU MATURE. I live to Love....Please take your negative energy and put it into something constructive. Please....What's understood should never have to be said. I LOVE EVERYBODY.....ONCE AGAIN EVERYBODY. If you choose to not believe me then that's on you....Have a beautiful day (sic)"
Kevin announced on Wednesday (05.12.18) he had landed the Oscars gig, and said his late mother Nancy would be smiling from "ear to ear" about the news.
He wrote: "For years I have been asked if I would ever host the Oscars and my answer was always the same.
"I said that it would be the opportunity of a lifetime for me as a comedian and that it will happen when it's supposed to. I am so happy to say the day has finally come for me to host the Oscars.
"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 the stage is unbelievable.
"I know my mom is smiling from ear to ear right now... I want to thank my family/friends/fans for supporting me & riding with me all this time...
"I will be sure to make this years Oscars a special one. I appreciate the @TheAcademy for the opportunity.... now it's time to rise to the occasion #Oscars. (sic)"
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