Kevin Hart is out as the host for the upcoming Academy Awards. The comedian said the choice to step down was his in a series of two tweets that went out late Thursday evening.
"I have made the choice to step down from hosting this year's Oscars....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," Hart 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," he continued.
Hart originally announced that he would be hosting the Oscars on Wednesday. However, shortly after the news was made public, homophobic tweets from his past were resurfaced, prompting many to call for Hart's role at the upcoming ceremony to be terminated. One of the tweets, which was posted in 2011, read: "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 also has a history of making homophobic comments in his stand-up.
On Thursday, Hart deleted several of the offending tweets and then responded to the outcry in a video on Instagram. In the post, Hart never apologized for his comments, but instead chose to emphasize how he has changed since he tweeted those remarks. A few hours later, Hart posted another video on Instagram, this time revealing that the Academy told him to apologize for the tweets or else they would have to find another host.
"I chose to pass on the apology," he revealed. "The reason why I passed is I've addressed this several times... I've said where the rights and wrongs were. I've said who I am now versus who I was then. I've done it. I've done it. I'm not going to continue to go back... We feed on Internet trolls and we reward them. I'm not going to do it, man. I'm going to be me. I'm going to stand my ground. Regardless Academy, I'm thankful and appreciative of the opportunity. If it goes away, no harm, no foul."
It wasn't long after this video was published that Hart issued his apology on Twitter and the news he was abdicating the hosting duties.
The Academy Awards will air Sunday, Feb. 24 on ABC. No word yet on who the new host will be.
Photos: 17 Times the Oscars Got It Wrong