Kevin Hart withdraws as Oscar host

Comedian apologises for past homophobic and transphobic comments

by Jennie Kermode

Kevin Hart with Ice Cube in Ride Along
Kevin Hart with Ice Cube in Ride Along

Ride Along star Kevin Hart has stepped down as the host of the 2019 Oscars after it emerged that he had made a string of homophobic and transphobic comments online between 2009 and 2011. He had previously described the job as "the opportunity of a lifetime."

"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 apologise to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past," said Hart in a tweet made last night. "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."

Hart, who says that he is now "in a completely different space in my life," had been challenged over his remarks by human rights campaigners. He has previously used social media to make confessions, last year revealing that he had cheated on his wife.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has yet to comment.

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