Ever since Kevin Hart was announced as the host of the 2019 Academy Awards, the comedian has been quietly scrubbing his Twitter account after some vintage tweets surfaced that have been described as homophobic.
The controversy began pretty much immediately after the 39-year star of such films as “Ride Along” and “Central Intelligence” was revealed to be the Oscars’ next host, with a Twitter user sharing an array of tweets he culled from Hart’s account.
In addition to samples of tweets in which Hart repeatedly uses a homophobic slur, there’s also a quote from a 2010 interview in which Hart admits, “One of my biggest fears is my son growing up and being gay… if I can prevent my son from being gay, I will.”
Another Twitter user did a deep dive into Hart’s tweets, and came up with more offensive statements.
Don’t go looking for any of those tweets now, however, as they’ve already been deleted from his account.
ET Canada has reached out to Hart’s rep for comment.
With the backlash building, on Thursday afternoon Hart took to Instagram to offer a comment, asking people to “stop looking for reasons to be negative… Stop searching for reasons to be angry.”
He added: “If u want to search my history or past and anger yourselves with what u find that is fine with me… You LIVE and YOU LEARN & YOU GROW & YOU MATURE… I LOVE EVERYBODY.”
View this post on Instagram
Stop looking for reasons to be negative…Stop searching for reasons to be angry….I swear I wish you guys could see/feel/understand the mental place that I am in. I am truly happy people….there is nothing that you can do to change that…NOTHING. I work hard on a daily basis to spread positivity to all….with that being said. 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. You LIVE and YOU LEARN & YOU GROW & YOU MATURE. I live to Love….Please take your negative energy and put it into something constructive. Please….What’s understood should never have to be said. I LOVE EVERYBODY…..ONCE AGAIN EVERYBODY. If you choose to not believe me then that’s on you….Have a beautiful day
Meanwhile, GLAAD is asking for some clarity about the decision to install Hart as host now that these old tweets have resurfaced.
“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,” GLAAD chief communications officer Rich Ferraro tells The Blast. “They have not yet responded.”
This isn’t the first time the Oscars have drawn heat for homophobic comments involving a host. Back in 2011, director Brett Ratner – who had been hired to produce the 2012 awards – wound up quitting over backlash to comments he made during an appearance on “The Howard Stern Show” when he joked that “rehearsals are for f*gs.”