A golden statue of Kevin Hart has mysteriously appeared on Hollywood Boulevard ahead of the Oscars this weekend.
The sculpture, which you can view below, surfaced close to Los Angeles’s Dolby Theatre this morning (February 21), where the awards will be held on Sunday (February 24). It is shown waving a rainbow flag and standing on a platform which reads, “Hollow Apology”.
Kevin Hart announced he was stepping down from the ceremony in December 2018, amid controversy over homophobic tweets from the past.
The comedian said he was “sorry he had hurt people” after it had emerged that he called one Twitter user a “fat f*g” and said he would prevent his son from being gay.
Credit: Kevin EG Perry
It has since been announced that the ceremony will now go ahead without a host for the first time in 30 years.
The street artist known as Plastic Jesus is reportedly responsible for the five-foot four-inch sculpture.
“Sadly, this year with the current feeling and rhetoric within the US, it seems that it’s now acceptable again to hate someone because of their sexual orientation,” he told artnet News. “We all know many people in Hollywood and the entertainment industry who are LGBTQ, and we should be celebrating diversity, not attacking it like it’s the 1970s again.”
He added: “His (Hart’s) half-hearted apology, or non-apology, was pretty lame really. So I decided to call the new piece Hollow Apology.
ABC president Karey Burke recently said the lack of a host would help with time constraints by keeping the ceremony to three hours.
“The main goal, which I’m told the Academy promised last year, is to keep the show to three hours,” said Burke.
“The producers decided to wisely not have a host and have the presenters and the movies be the stars. That’s the best way to keep the show to a brisk three hours.”
The Oscars will take place on February 24 – with Roma, The Favourite and A Star Is Born all leading the race to awards glory.