Oscar host Kevin Hart addresses backlash over homophobic tweets and jokes

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By Doha Madani

Comedian Kevin Hart on Thursday responded to the backlash that unfolded after old homophobic jokes and tweets that resurfaced after he was chosen to host the 2019 Oscars.

Hart posted a video to his Instagram on Thursday evening where he wrote in the caption for people to “stop being negative” in response to criticism that he made insensitive jokes about gay men nearly a decade ago.

The comedian didn’t apologize or admit wrongdoing in his video, but said that the world was getting to be “beyond crazy.”

“Guys, I’m almost 40 years old. If you don’t believe that people change, grow, evolve as people get older, I don’t know what to tell you,” Hart, 39, said in the video. “If you want to hold people in a position where they always have to justify or explain their past, than do you. I’m the wrong guy.”

In his 2010 comedy special “Seriously Funny,” Hart told audiences his biggest fear was that his son coming out as gay. Hart said that “as a heterosexual male, if I can prevent my son from being gay, I will.” He addressed the joke in 2015 Rolling Stone interview, where he did not apologize and said that he wouldn’t make the same joke again because the times weren’t as “sensitive.”

Hart deleted some of the tweets that were spread online, but many in which he called people “gay” or used a slur for gay men were still up as of Thursday evening. In one tweet, Hart calls someone a “fat faced f-g.”

@KevinHart4real / Twitter

“I just saw the biggest gay guy ever!” one tweet read. “This n—- looked like hulf(sic) hogan with heels on! I can’t lie I got scared!!!!”

Comedian Billy Eichner commented on Hart’s video on Twitter, saying “This is not good.”

“A simple, authentic apology showing any bit of understanding or remorse would have been so simple,” Eichner wrote. “Like I tweeted a few weeks ago, Hollywood still has a real problem with gay men. On the surface it may not look like it. Underneath, it’s far more complicated.”

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which runs the Academy Awards, did not immediately respond to NBC News for comment.


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