Kevin Hart Steps Down as Oscars Host Amid Homophobic Tweet Backlash

Kevin Hart (LOS ANGELES, CA. December 11, 2017: Kevin Hart at the Los Angeles premiere of "Jumanji: Welcome To the Jungle" at the TCL Chinese Theatre, Hollywood/Shutterstock)

Kevin Hart will no longer be hosting the 2019 Oscars, the actor and comedian announced late Thursday night.

In a statement posted on Twitter just after 9 p.m. PT, Hart wrote: “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.”

The announcement came hours after a controversy erupted over homophobic tweets he posted almost a decade ago.

Social media users uncovered the tweets earlier in the day, sparking calls for Hart to apologize.

The Night School star, who announced two days earlier that he would be hosting the Academy Awards in February, posted two videos to Instagram describing the backlash as “beyond crazy.” He added that he would not apologize or cave to “internet trolls.”

Hours later, he decided to bow out of hosting the Oscars.