Kevin Hart 'Should Have Stepped Up' Instead of Stepping Down as Oscars Host, Says GLAAD
IBexclusive News Friday December 07, 2018.
(IBEXNews) - Kevin Hart made the wrong decision by bowing out of his Oscars hosting gig amid backlash over prior homophobic comments, the nation’s leading LGBTQ advocacy group said early Friday.
In a statement, GLAAD President Sarah Kate Ellis said the comedian should have turned the high-profile gig into a teachable moment.
“Kevin Hart shouldn’t have stepped down; he should have stepped up,” Ellis said Friday.
“Hart’s apology to LGBTQ people is an important step forward, but he missed a real opportunity to use his platform and the Oscars stage to build unity and awareness. We would still welcome that conversation with him,” she said.
“The Academy has recently made significant strides in featuring diverse talent onstage and they should now double down on that commitment as they look for a new host,” she said.
Hart announced late Thursday that he was dropping out of helming the Hollywood awards show.
“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,” he said in a Twitter post.
“I'm sorry that I hurt people.. I am evolving and want to continue to do so. My goal is to bring people together not tear us apart. Much love & appreciation to the Academy. I hope we can meet again,” he said in a follow-up post.
Hart, 39, is a hugely popular comedian and actor who sells out arenas for his comedy acts and starred in the recent hit movies “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle,” and “Night School.”
But he faced a wave of criticism when his selection as Oscars host led to renewed scrutiny of some prior tweets and comments that disparaged gay people.
Some of the tweets, which appear to have been deleted, were shared via screenshot by an editor at The Guardian on Wednesday.
“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,’” one of the tweets from 2011 said.
During a 2010 stand-up performance, Hart discussed his anxiety over his son’s sexuality.
“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,” Hart said.
He told Rolling Stone magazine in 2015 that he stopped telling that bit in his routines.
“I wouldn’t tell that joke today, because when I said it, the times weren’t as sensitive as they are now. I think we love to make big deals out of things that aren’t necessarily big deals, because we can. These things become public spectacles. So why set yourself up for failure?”