Kevin Hart steps down as Oscars host after old homophobic comments resurface

Kevin Hart is pulling out of the Oscars

Kevin Hart has stepped down as Oscars 2019 host after he refused to apologise for his earlier anti-gay comments despite Academy Awards' ultimatum, reported The Hollywood Reporter.

Guardian reporter Benjamin Lee was one of the first journalists to call out Hart's past remarks, sharing a collection of screenshots of the offending tweets, writing, "I wonder when Kevin Hart is gonna start deleting all his old tweets?"

Capping a swift fallout, Mr Hart wrote on Twitter that he was withdrawing as Oscars host because he did not want to be a distraction. Now with that being said, I don't know if I handled my son's first gay moment correctly.

Mr Hart has since deleted some of the anti-gay tweets, mostly dated from 2009-2011.

A video Hart posted earlier on Thursday finds him laying in bed reacting to the coverage of his homophobic tweets.

Hart had initially posted a message to Instagram responding to the controversy in which he said, "Stop looking for reasons to be negative". I have said where the rights and wrongs were. "I hope we can meet again".

Representatives for the Academy, which organizes the Oscars, did not immediately respond to EW's request for comment on Hart's decision to step down. Ahead of the 2012 Academy Awards, producer Brett Ratner, who had been paired with host Eddie Murphy, resigned days after using a gay slur at a film screening.

It remains to be seen who will replace Hart as the host for the event, as reports earlier this week indicated that the producers were having a hard time finding willing participants for the role.

In another of the tweets in question, Hart jokes that someone's Twitter profile pic looks "like a gay billboard for AIDS".

"I am blown away simply because this has been a goal on my list for a long time", Hart wrote on his Instagram page. "But me, as a heterosexual male, if I can prevent my son from being gay, I will". If you don't believe that people change, grow, evolve as they get older.

Hart's defenders are few and far between with really only his wife stepping in to say that only God can judge him.

Rich Ferraro, Chief Communications Officer for GLAAD, has told The Blast, "GLAAD reached out to ABC, The Academy and Kevin Hart's management to discuss his rhetoric and record as well as opportunities for positive LGBTQ inclusion on the Oscars stage". Soon after Hart announced he would be hosting the show, a backlash began over homophobic posts he had made to Twitter in previous years.