Just days after accepting to be the host of the Oscars, US comedian and actor Kevin Hart has decided to step down from the role.
It follows backlash over some comments he apparently made on homosexuality in the past, which his critics considered homophobic and anti-gay.
The comments were made in a tweet almost ten years ago, according to Hart.
The comedian was asked by officials at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to apologise for the tweets or lose the role.
Hart said in a post on Instagram that “I chose to pass on the apology. The reason why I passed is because I’ve addressed this several times.”
The 39 year old said in the video that “I’ve said who I am now versus who I was then. I’ve done it. I’m not going to continue to go back and tap into the days of old when I’ve moved on and I’m in a completely different place in my life.”
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 apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past.
— Kevin Hart (@KevinHart4real) December 7, 2018
Hart said a couple of days ago that hosting the Oscars was “a goal on my list for a long time” when he was confirmed the host of the 2019’s star-studded ceremony.
Describing it as the “opportunity of a lifetime for me as a comedian”, he said “my mom is smiling from ear to ear right now”.