"I have made the choice to step down from hosting this year's Oscar's [sic] ... because I do not want to be a distraction on a night that should be celebrated by so many incredible talented artists", the actor and comedian said on Twitter late Thursday night.
"I think it's embarrassing", Matthew Belloni, the editorial director of The Hollywood Reporter, said about the academy's decision to pick Hart. Among the vocal critics of Hart as a host, The Guardian's Benjamin Lee published an article, "Oscars Host Kevin Hart's Homophobia Is No Laughing Matter", with footage from his late 2000s stand-up act about his son's "first gay thought". And he has a enormous social following.
But Oscars hosts have always been subjected to a lot of scrutiny. Ahead of the 2012 Academy Awards, producer Brett Ratner, who had been paired with host Eddie Murphy, resigned days after using a gay slur at a film screening. Well done #KevinHart, ' actor D.L. Hughley said.
"A comedian says something that offends people and refuses to apologize?" F*** 'em if they can't take a joke!
Snoop Dogg also posted a video supporting Hart.
The advocacy organization GLAAD wishes Hart hadn't stepped down, however.
The Academy Awards is yet to comment on Hart's departure.
At a Hollywood event Thursday night, comedian Kathy Griffin, whose career suffered a year ago when she posted a photo on social media that looked like a beheaded President Donald Trump, said Hart messed up, yet had empathy for the situation. He bowed out on his own, and with an apology. A woman? A comedian?
Many keep coming back to Whoopi Goldberg, who has hosted the awards four times.
Other possible hosts floated by Variety include Billy Eichner; Donald Glover; Ken Jeong; Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele; Melissa McCarthy; Lin Manuel-Miranda; Patton Oswalt; Issa Rae and Wanda Sykes.
"I want more women to host the Oscars and in the entire history of the Oscars, they've only been hosted by three women, three times and so we haven't leveled the playing field yet", she said. Busy Phillips threw her own name out there ("I AM AVAILABLE", she tweeted).
Turns out the Ride Along star has addressed the tweets back in 2014 and also failed to adequately apologise, as the words "sorry" or "I apologise" were missing yet again.