Kevin Hart withdraws as Oscar host

Kevin Hart has withdrawn as Oscar host
Kevin Hart has withdrawn as Oscar host

US comedian and actor Kevin Hart says he has stepped down from hosting the 2019 Oscars following a controversy over homophobic tweets.

He said he did not want to be a distraction and that he was “sorry he had hurt people”.

The choice of Hart for host was only announced on Tuesday.

But tweets from a decade ago emerged of apparent anti-gay slurs, sparking calls for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to drop him.

Kevin Hart had said hosting the Oscars was “a goal on my list for a long time”.

But in a tweet late on Thursday he said he had chosen to step down “because I do not want to be a distraction on a night that should be celebrated by so many amazing talented artists”.

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He said: “I sincerely apologise to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words of the past.”

The role has thrown up problems for a number of past hosts and the Hollywood Reporter has called it “the least wanted job in Hollywood“.

The Oscars will take place in Los Angeles on 24 February 2019.

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