Kevin Hart has been busy scrubbing his Twitter account of his old anti-gay tweets since he was tapped as Oscar host earlier this week.
And just hours after deleting the tweets, Hart stepped down as host of the Oscars with an apology.
“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,” Hart said in a statement. “I sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past.”
The imbroglio started after Guardian editor Benjamin Lee tweeted out screen grabs of some of Hart’s now-deleted messages on Twitter, including one from 2011 in which he wrote: “Yo if my son comes home & try’s 2 play with my daughters doll house I’m going 2 break it over his head & say n my voice ‘stop that’s gay.”
Reps for Hart and the Academy did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.
But a person with knowledge of the situation who asked to remain anonymous tells TheWrap that Hart’s team had already been in talks with GLAAD. It’s unclear what that means.
Hart has a long history of making homophobic jokes. And now, it seems, those jokes are coming back to haunt him.
In one of his tweets, Hart said someone looked like “a gay bill board for AIDS” and called another person a “FAT F-G.”
Hart’s old tweets also include a flurry of anti-gay slurs, including “homo,” “fat faced f-g”, “man bitch” and “f-g boy.”
When someone tweeted that Hart, George Lopez and Sarah Silverman were the “worst comedians ever,” Hart responded with “I bet ur in a gay gang and u do drive by d— sucks.”
In another tweet, he responded with “thanks f-g boy.”
“I’m willing 2bet that u got hit in the back of your head w/ ‘soft peaches’ in high school,” he responded to another person, “they probly gave ur gay ass wedges lol.”
On Wednesday, BuzzFeed’s Adam Vary tweeted a scrolling video of dozens of Hart’s anti-gay tweets, which he grabbed after seeing Lee’s initial tweet.
“I did a search for every time Kevin Hart tweeted “f-g,” “homo,” or “gay,” Vary wrote. “It was…a lot. And he seems to have basically stopped tweeting those words after 2011 — i.e. the year his first stand-up movie became a hit.”
After seeing this @benfraserlee tweet, I did a search for every time Kevin Hart tweeted "fag," "homo," or "gay." It was…a lot. And he seems to have basically stopped tweeting those words after 2011 — i.e. the year his first stand-up movie became a hit. https://t.co/P8nTOilFgx pic.twitter.com/6uzPhnvt4F
— Adam B. Vary (@adambvary) December 5, 2018
In an article for The Guardian, Lee wrote about Hart’s anti-gay history, which includes a 2010 stand-up routine in which the comedian said: “One of my biggest fears is my son growing up and being gay. That’s a fear. Keep in mind, I’m not homophobic, I have nothing against gay people, be happy. Do what you want to do. But me, being a heterosexual male, if I can prevent my son from being gay, I will. Now with that being said, I don’t know if I handled my son’s first gay moment correctly. Every kid has a gay moment but when it happens, you’ve got to nip it in the bud!”
This isn’t the first time the Academy has faced this problem. In 2011 the Oscars fired Brett Ratner as producer of the 84th Academy Awards after using the word “f-gs.”