The Academy’s decision to have Kevin Hart host the Oscars is being met with criticism after years-old homophobic tweets from Hart were shared on social media.
On Tuesday, Hart announced via Instagram he’d be hosting the 91st Academy Awards on Feb. 24. Shortly thereafter, several Twitter users resurfaced past tweets from Hart where he tweeted words like “homo” and “gay.” . Per E! News, the since-deleted tweets date back to 2011.
GLAAD, the media-monitoring organization, told USA TODAY it has contacted The Academy to discuss Hart’s upcoming hosting gig.
“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,” the organization said in a statement. “They have not yet responded.”
Late Thursday Hart reacted to the controversy on Instagram .
“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,” Hart wrote in a caption of a video. “You LIVE and YOU LEARN & YOU GROW & YOU MATURE. I live to Love….Please take your negative energy and put it into something constructive.”
The selfie clip shared on Instagram showed a subdued, shirtless Hart talking from a bed.
“I swear man, our world is becoming beyond crazy,” Hart said in an exasperated tone. “I’m not going to let the craziness frustrate me, or anger me.”
The comedian addressed tweets he posted “years ago.”
“Guys. I’m almost 40 years old, if you don’t believe people change. grow. evolve as they get older, I don’t know what to tell you,” said Hart. “If you want to hold people in a position where they always have to justify or explain their past then…I’m the wrong guy man.”
One 2011 tweet from Hart’s verified account reads: “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’.”
An interview Hart gave to Rolling Stone in 2015 was also resurfaced. Hart had said, “Keep in mind, I’m not homophobic… Be happy. Do what you want to do. But me, as a heterosexual male, if I can prevent my son from being gay, I will.”
Several Twitter users called for The Academy to relieve Hart of his hosting duties.
One person upset with the hiring of Hart wrote in a NSFW tweet: “Fire Kevin Hart and hire a gay man instead to host the Oscars…”
Another wrote, “Hey @TheAcademy one way to make your ratings even lower is to have @KevinHart4real and his homophobic (expletive) host your award ceremony.”
Hart had announced his upcoming gig in an enthusiastic post Tuesday.
“For years I have been asked if I would ever Host the Oscars and my answer was always the same…I said that it would be the opportunity of a lifetime for me as a comedian and that it will happen when it’s suppose to,” Hart wrote. “I am so happy to say that the day has finally come for me to host the Oscars. I am blown away simply because this has been a goal on my list for a long time.”