The annual Academy Awards is the most esteemed award ceremony in the film industry, and the announcement of the host is highly anticipated each year.
Comedian and actor Kevin Hart was announced to host the 2019 ceremony on Dec. 4.
Shortly after, though, a series of Hart’s Tweets resurfaced by internet trolls, which suggested homophobic opinions and actions.
One tweet from 2011 read, “Yo, if my son comes home and try’s 2 play with my daughters doll house I’m going 2 break it over his head & say it n my voice, ‘stop that’s gay.’”
After receiving social media backlash for his controversial tweets, Hart’s immediate response was portrayed through an Instagram video. In the video posted on Dec. 6, he “passed” on giving an apology, and said, “You live and you learn & you grow & you mature. I live to Love…”
Within hours, Hart announced via Twitter, “I have made the choice to step down from hosting this year’s Oscars. 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.”
While promoting his starring role in the film, “The Upside,” Hart was asked about the issue on platforms such as “The Breakfast Club,” “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” and “ABC News.” He continued to apologize but eventually said he was “over it” and had “moved on.”
It is obvious Hart has changed as a person since 2011, and the continuous attention brought to his past words and actions hinder the ability to move on from them.
Senior Imani Walker said, “(The Tweets) were from 2011, and he has apologized publicly multiple times. I think it takes courage to do that in this industry. So many people get exposed and try to make it a sympathy thing.”
Most recently, Hart appeared on the “Ellen Show,” where Ellen Degeneres admitted she had called The Academy to plead Hart’s case, and she ultimately urged him to take up the opportunity of hosting again.
It is officially undecided whether Hart will reclaim the host position or if he will be replaced.
The door of hope seemed to close, though, with a recent “Good Morning America” interview in which Hart said, “I can’t do it this year. It’s not going to happen. In the future, if it does, it does, but it’s not the conversation of today.”
Hart also mentioned the lack of time he would have to prepare and how that might affect his overall performance.
All of these factors considered, though, hosting the Oscars is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Hart is the perfect candidate, and reclaiming his position as host would show him moving on from the controversy and from his past self.
Hart is one of the few famous figures that willingly and directly addresses their wrongdoings instead of fading into the shadows until the issue is forgotten. Hopefully, Hart will have a second chance to host the Oscars in the future.
This be will Josie Krueger’s second year on Echo staff, but she made several contributions while taking journalism class her sophomore year. She has been recognized by MIPA and JournalismSTL for her work on the Echo.