Kevin Hart steps down from hosting Oscars after facing backlash over homophobic tweets

"I sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past."

Kevin Hart has announced that he is stepping down from hosting the Oscars next year, after homophobic tweets from eight years ago resurfaced online.

The comedian announced his decision on Twitter last night and offered an apology as he confirmed that he’ll no longer lead the prestigious ceremony next February.

“I have made the choice to step down from hosting this year’s Oscars”, Hart tweeted.

“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.”

He added: “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.”

The tweets were unearthed earlier this week, and saw Hart using a series of homophobic slurs.

In one, he called out another Twitter user and referred to them as a “fat f*g.” In another, he said he would not allow his son to play with a doll’s house because “that’s gay.”

Although Hart has now offered an apology, he initially remained unrepentant – claiming “angry people love the internet.”

He also issued an Instagram video that seemingly dismissed the concerns.

“I swear man, our world is becoming beyond crazy,” he said. “I’m not going to let the craziness frustrate me or anger me, especially when I’ve worked hard to get to the mental space where I am at now.

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Stop looking for reasons to be negative…Stop searching for reasons to be angry….I swear I wish you guys could see/feel/understand the mental place that I am in. I am truly happy people….there is nothing that you can do to change that…NOTHING. I work hard on a daily basis to spread positivity to all….with that being said. If u want to search my history or past and anger yourselves with what u find that is fine with me. I’m almost 40 years old and I’m in love with the man that I am becoming. You LIVE and YOU LEARN & YOU GROW & YOU MATURE. I live to Love….Please take your negative energy and put it into something constructive. Please….What’s understood should never have to be said. I LOVE EVERYBODY…..ONCE AGAIN EVERYBODY. If you choose to not believe me then that’s on you….Have a beautiful day

A post shared by Kevin Hart (@kevinhart4real) on

“My team calls me, ‘Oh my God, Kevin, this world is upset about tweets you did years ago,’” he continues. “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. If you want to hold people in a position where they always have to justify or explain their past, then do you. I’m the wrong guy, man. I’m in a great place, a great mature place, where all I do is spread positivity.”

In a follow-up video, he also refused to apologise.

The Academy is yet to respond to Hart’s resignation.