Grand opening; grand closing.
Just a day or so after reveling in his dream of hosting the upcoming 91st Academy Awards, Kevin Hart has dropped the bag.
Naturally, when your platform bolts into a different stratosphere, so does your level of accountability. Hart had an extremely sizable audience already, but hosting the biggest night of Hollywood certainly catapulted him into prodigious status.
As such, his vintage homophobic tweets surfaced, including one from 2011 where he said, “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.’”
Hart, he of “I LOVE EVERYBODY” branding, decided to forego accountability and instead pointed the finger at “you guys” who were hellbent on “negativity.”
According to Variety, the Academy later reportedly dished out an ultimatum: apologize or don’t host. Simple, right?
Not so much.
Cue Mr. Ego, who decided to bring his friend Pride to brunch. (Actually, maybe he could use some more friends in Pride.)
“I chose to pass on the apology,” the comedic actor said in his Instagram video. “The reason why I passed is because I’ve addressed this several times. This is not the first time this has come up. I’ve addressed it. I’ve spoken on it. I’ve said where the rights and wrongs were. 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.”
Kevin, nooooooo. (Said like he does onstage during his very on standup)
Lauryn said it could all be so simple; but hey, she isn’t even following that doctrine (except, on blessed rare occasions). So, here we are, in this easily avoidable situation.
Hart could’ve simply apologized as per the Academy’s firm request. Now, no one is obligated to accept said apology—let me repeat: no one is obligated to accept said apology—but I bet he’d still have a job today if he did. His “I’ve already apologized for that already” is irrelevant. Yes, I’m sure it’s frustrating to have to repeat your past over and over, but guess what, Central Intelligence? As the offender, you don’t get to decide when the offended should “get over it.” Plus, as mentioned above, his audience has ascended due to his new (now former) appointment as Oscars host. New job; new him. New audience. It comes with the territory.
Then—plot twist—he announced he was stepping down, and apologized anyway.
“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 many amazing talented artists,” he wrote in an evening tweet. “I sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past.”
I see, I said. Mmhmm. I’m thinking Team Hart put it to him plain: you’ve already lost the hosting spot, but let’s make sure you don’t lose your career, too. As I mentioned before, he really does have every job and he has a plethora of projects down the line to promote. The Secret Life of Pets 2, an untitled Jumanji sequel, the appropriately titled My Own Worst Enemy, Uptown Saturday Night, The Great Outdoors, and Ride Along 3, meaning Ice Cube has to be giving him the “don’t fuck up my bag, too, nigga” stink-eye, right?
So many bags. Time to step off Pride Rock. (Or onto it—it’s fun there!) Unfortunately, the damage is done. Onward...
Now, along with nominations, we wait to see who the Academy decides to choose as their new host. We’re sure there’s a waiting list, not to mention the possible list of comedians who possibly turned down the gig before him.
After the year we’ve had, it might be beneficial to choose a woman. Tiffany Haddish and Maya Rudolph come to mind as the most obvious choice, given their audience-favorite bit from last year’s ceremony. I know some folks are tired of Tiffany, but the same could’ve been said of Kevin (who has been in our faces for far longer). And yet, male privilege persisted.
Or how about Regina Hall?!
We don’t yet know the new host’s name, but we know who it’s not: Kevin Hart. And Kevin has no one to blame, but Kevin.