In a new Instagram video, Kevin Hart, who was tapped to emcee the ceremony earlier this week, says the Academy called him issuing an ultimatum if things were going to proceed as planned.
“I just got a call from the Academy and that call basically said, ‘Kevin, apologize for your tweets of old or we’re going to have to move on and find another host.’ I’m talking about the tweets from 2009 and 2010,” the 39-year-old comedian said. “I chose to pass on the apology. 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.”
In a previous Instagram video, Hart addressed escalating concerns over a long history of hate speech and derogatory jokes about the LGBTQ community on social media, resurfaced in national news after he was named host of the Oscars on Thursday.
“Stop looking for reasons to be negative,” Hart wrote in the previous Instagram post. “Stop searching for reasons to be angry.”
Those sentiments did not go over well for many who read them as a non-apology.
“The same energy that went into finding those old tweets could be the same energy put into finding the response to the questions that have been asked years after years after years,” Hart said in his latest video. “We feed internet trolls and we reward them. I’m not going to do it, man. I’m going to be me. I’m going to stand my ground. Regardless, Academy, I’m thankful and appreciative of the opportunity. If it goes away, no harm, no foul.”
The Academy did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
See Hart’s full video below.