Days after the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences named comedian Kevin Hart to the post of Oscars host, homophobic tweets that he had posted seven years ago resurfaced, threatening his upcoming position.
In one tweet from 2011, Hart wrote, “Yo if my son comes home & trys 2 play with my daughters doll house Im going 2 break it over his head & say n my voice stop thats gay.” Another tweet from 2009 read, in part, “What ru some type of FAT F-G that takes pics of small black men all day?”
The tweets, which Hart hadnt deleted upon his announcement as the Oscars host, set off a social-media maelstrom on Thursday, with a Care2 petition started on behalf of the L.G.B.T.Q. and #MeToo communities calling for the Academy to rescind Harts invitation to host. In addition to the homophobic comments, the Care2 petition also pointed to “fights [with Harts] ex-wife [that required] police intervention and land[ed] him in jail.” The petition has accrued more than 2,000 signatures.
The Academy did not return calls seeking comment.
Hart, himself, tried to rectify the situation on Thursday afternoon, releasing a non-apology Instagram post that highlighted how much the actor believes he has changed since his old comments.
“Im almost 40 years old and Im in love with the man that I am becoming,” read some of his post.
Its not clear how the Academy will respond. But if the organizations behavior back in 2011 is any indication, Kevin Hart is not long for his partnership with them. Back then, the Academy fired producer Brett Ratner after he discussed his sex life on Howard Sterns radio show and said “rehearsal is for f-gs” at a film screening.
Harts comments come across even more insensitively when you consider that many of this years crop of potential nominees: Rami Malek, Melissa McCarthy, Richard E. Grant, and Olivia Colman, among others, are portraying characters that identify with the L.G.B.T.Q. community.
The Academy Awards will be held on February 24, 2019.
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