Kevin posts a series of homophobic tweets that are really, really awful:
December 4, 2018
Kevin is announced as host of the Oscars and everyone seems pretty pumped.
December 6, 2018
As Kevin’s unearthed tweets begin to go viral, he reveals that the Academy gave him an ultimatum: Apologize or give up his hosting gig. He refuses to say sorry, instead issuing the following ill-advised statement via Instagram:
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’ve done it. I’m not going to continue to go back and tap into the days of old, when I’ve moved on and I’m in a completely different space in my life. The same energy that went into finding those old tweets could be the same energy put into finding the response to the questions that have been asked years after years after years. We’re feeding the internet trolls and we reward them. I’m not going to do it, man. I’m going to be me and stand my ground.
December 7, 2018
Backlash ensues, so Kevin steps down from his hosting gig and issues a formal apology on Twitter, writing, “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.”
January 4, 2019
Kevin shows up on TV for a chat with Ellen, who defends him against “trolls” and says, “They’re gonna win if you don’t host the Oscars. You can’t let them destroy you and they can’t destroy you because you have too much talent.”
Ellen also says she called the Academy to see if Kevin could still host the awards, and she seemed to think the answer was a hard yes.
Later in the Day…
Ellen’s comments are met with major backlash by people on Twitter who don’t think she’s the arbiter of right and wrong in this situation:
Meanwhile, multiple op-eds are published, including The Hollywood Reporter‘s Kris Rehl who wrote, “I was shocked to see Ellen throw her weight behind his self-victimization.” On top of that, Don Lemon criticizes both Ellen and Kevin on his CNN show, saying of the latter, “I don’t see any meaningful outreach to the LGBT community. Apologizing and moving on does not make the world a better place for people who are gay or who are transgender. Being an ally does.”
January 5, 2019
Kevin hits Instagram to defend himself after backlash over his Ellen appearance, saying, “When did we get to the point where we forgot that we all learn, then we all have the ability to grow and with that growth comes a wealth of knowledge. You can’t change without a understanding of what GROWTH means.”
Meanwhile, Deadline reports that Kevin no longer wants to host the Oscars, despite Ellen’s plea, with sources revealing that the “situation is still fluid and he could possibly change his mind,” but “this looks like his final answer.”
January 7, 2019
Kevin Hart issues another formal apology, this time on his radio show, saying, “We thought it was okay to talk like that, because that’s how we talked to one another … This is wrong now. Because now we’re in a space where I’m around people of the LGBTQ community, and I’m now aware of how these words make them feel, and why they say ‘That shit hurt because of what I’ve been through.'”
He also explains that he’s changed, clarifying, “The fight is the will and want for equality. I’m riding with you guys. I understand you. But in the fight for equality, that means that there has to be an acceptance for change. If you don’t want to accept people for their change, then where are you trying to get to the equal part? Where does the equality part come in?”
Circa Right Now
The Oscars still don’t have a host, lol, and it’s uncertain if Kevin will step back into the role. Stay tuned.