Comedian Kevin Hart steps down as Oscars host over anti-gay tweets

He said he has already addressed the issue and would not apologise

Comedian Kevin Hart steps down as Oscars host over anti-gay tweets

Comedian Kevin Hart on the red carpet of the 87th Academy Awards in 2015 | Image: Prensa Internacional/Zuma Press/PA Images

US comedian Kevin Hart has stepped down as host of the Academy Awards next year, just days after the announcement was made.

It comes after tweets emerged in which he used homophobic slurs.

The actor and comedian's response to the outcry appeared to cause further backlash, as he wrote on Instagram that critics should "Stop looking for reasons to be negative".

In a brief 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 change, grow, evolve as they get older, I don't know what to tell you".

And then in a follow-up post, he told followers: "So I just got a call from the Academy and that call basically said 'Kevin, apologise for your tweets of old or we're going to have to move on to find another host'.

"Talking about the tweets from 2009/2010.

"I chose to pass, I passed on the apology - the reason why I passed is because I've addressed this several times.

"This is not the first time this has come up, I've addressed it, I've spoken on it, 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'm not going to continue to go back and tap into the days of old when I've moved on".

He said the "same energy that went into finding those old tweets could be the same energy put into finding the response".

"We feed into internet trolls and we reward them - I'm not going to do it, man.

"I'm going to be me (and) I'm going to stand my ground."

Addressing The Academy, he added: "I'm thankful and appreciate of the opportunity; if it goes away, no harm no foul".

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It comes after LGBTQ media watchdog group GLAAD contacted the Academy Awards broadcaster ABC, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), and Mr Hart's management to "discuss Kevin's anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and record".

Hart said in a 2010 stand-up special that "if I can prevent my son from being gay, I will."

He announced he was withdrawing himself from the role in the early hours of Friday morning, writing on Twitter: "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 awards ceremony will take place in February, with Hart describing the gig as the "opportunity of a lifetime" when he was made host.

Additional reporting: IRN