Within just days of being announced at the next Oscar’s host, Kevin Hart has already stepped down.
Hart was announced as the host of the 91st Academy Awards on Tuesday night but backed down from the honor on Thursday after receiving public backlash from anti-LGBTQ tweets he made in 2009 and 2011.
The tweets have now been deleted, but one from 2011 said, “Yo if my son comes home & try’s 2 play with my daughters doll house I’m going 2 break it over his head & say n my voice ‘stop that’s gay’.”
Hart was then pressured by the Academy to make an apology, or they would choose another host. Instead, he opted to remove himself from the ceremony entirely.
“I have made the choice to step down from hosting this year’s Oscars,” Hart posted on his Twitter and Instagram pages. “This is because I do not want to be a distraction on a night that should be celebrated by so many amazing talented artists.”
Hart would have been only one of five black entertainers who have hosted the Oscars, which had its first ceremony in 1929.
Hart originally confirmed the news of his hosting on his Instagram and Twitter pages Tuesday night.
“For years I have been asked if I would ever host the Oscars and my answer was always the same,” he said. “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 to.’ But I am happy to say that the day has finally come.”
According to Variety, Kevin Hart told the publication last year that he would love to host as well.
“It would be something I would definitely do just to say I did it in my career,” he said. “It would be great to say, ‘I had that moment.”
Kelly Ripa jokingly took credit for Hart’s announcement on her show this week when she revealed a clip of her interviewing the comedian backstage during last year’s Academy Awards in which she predicted his 2019 hosting status.
Hart said he was blown away that his goal has finally come true.
“…because this has been a goal on my list for a long time,” he said. “To be able to join the legendary list of hosts [who] have graced that stage is unbelievable.”
Those iconic hosts of color include Chris Rock, Richard Pryor and Sammy Davis Jr. who have all hosted twice, in addition to Whoopi Goldberg, who has hosted four times.
Hart said he knows his mom, who passed away from cancer in 2007, would be proud of him. “I know my mom is smiling from ear to ear right now,” he said. “I want to thank my family, friends and fans for supporting me and riding with me all this time.”
Hart said he wanted to make this years Academy Awards a special experience.
“I appreciate the Academy for the opportunity,” he said. “Now, it’s time to rise to the occasion.”
But he won’t get that chance anymore.
Hart said he sincerely apologizes to the LGBTQ community for insensitive words from his past.
“I’m sorry that I hurt people — I am evolving and want to continue to do so,” he said. “My goal is to bring people together not tear us apart. Much love and appreciation to the Academy. I hope we can meet again.”
A new host has not been announced as of presstime and the Academy has not made a statement regarding Hart either.
The 91st Oscars will take place on Feb. 24, 2019 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.