Kevin Hart steps down as Oscars host after homophobic comments surface

Kevin Hart has confirmed he will not be hosting the Oscars next year.

The US comedian and actor announced on Twitter he’d be stepping down as the master of ceremonies on Twitter, saying he wouldn’t want the controversies surrounding his past to overshadow the evening.

Shortly after his appointment, tweets resurfaced, originally posted between 2009 and 2011, which contained offensive language towards the LGBT community.

Amid a growing controversy and after refusing the Academy’s request to apologise, Hart announced on Twitter he was stepping aside.

He said: "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.

"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."

Kevin Hart steps down as Oscars host after homophobic comments surface

Kevin Hart stepped down as host just one day after his unveiling
(Image: CBS via Getty Images)

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Hart would have been just one of a handful of African Americans to host the Oscars, following on from stars including Chris Rock, Whoopi Goldberg and Sammy Davis Jr.

The statement comes 24 hours after the 39-year-old announced his elation at the appointment.

He revealed on his Instagram page yesterday: "For years I have been asked if I would ever host the Oscars and my answer was always the same… I said that it would be the opportunity of a lifetime for me as a comedian and that it will happen when it’s supposed to.

"I am so happy to say that the day has finally come for me to host the Oscars. I am blown away simply because this has been a goal on my list for a long time…To be able to join the legendary list of host (sic) that have graced that stage is unbelievable.

"I know my mom is smiling from ear to ear right now. I want to thank my family/friends/fans for supporting me & riding with me all this time… I will be sure to make this years Oscars a special one.

"I appreciate The Academy for the opportunity…. Now it’s time to rise to the occasion."

The Academy’s official Twitter account posted a tweet saying: "Welcome to the family, KevinHart4Real."

Hours after Hart’s unveiling influential trade magazine The Hollywood Reporter called the host’s job, "the worst job in town", after previous appointments experienced difficulties on the night.

Kevin Hart steps down as Oscars host after homophobic comments surface

(Image: REUTERS)

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Kimmel was the MC when the best picture gong was wrongly handed to La La Land over Moonlight, though was not responsible for that mistake.

In August, the Academy recommended the creation of a new award, dubbed the "popular" Oscar, that would recognise "outstanding achievement in popular film".

The plan was aborted a month later following much criticism.

Previous Oscar hosts include Billy Crystal, Bob Hope and Seth MacFarlane.

  • The Oscars will take place in Los Angeles on Sunday February 24