A lot has changed — and been restored — for comedian Kevin Hart, over the past two days.
A mere 24 hours after announcing on Wednesday afternoon that he was confirmed to host the 91st annual Academy Awards, he took to social media to say that he has decided to withdraw from his duties. His reasoning: He refused to apologize for his recently resurfaced anti-LGBTQ comments.
The rapid turn of events came after a slew of outrage sparked by anti-gay tweets and comments the comedian made during his past stand-up routines that date back 10 years.
Some fans further noticed that some of the controversial posts were mass-deleted throughout the day on Thursday, and were followed by an Instagram video, which Hart posted, that seemed to only worsen things.
"My team calls me, 'Oh my God, Kevin, everyone's upset by tweets you did years ago,'" he said in the video. "Guys, I'm almost 40 years old. If you don't believe that people change, grow, evolve as they get older, I don't know what to tell you. If you want to hold people in a position where they always have to justify the past, do you. I'm the wrong guy, man."
Take a look at the first video that fueled the outrage, below:
Those words, which were perceived by many as a non-apology, only served as a catalyst for the outpouring of anger from those offended by his initial comments.
Continuing to feed the fire, the comic resurfaced, again, with another video saying that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences gave him an ultimatum: Apologize for those tweets or step down as host. He stressed that he chose the latter.
"I chose to pass on the apology," he said. "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."
Those follow-up comments didn't make things better for the comedian who, two hours later, returned to social media to reiterate, in a tweet, that he was withdrawing himself from the gig. He then did what he said he refused to do: He offered the apology that many, including the Academy, were initially requesting.
While the Academy is yet to comment on the ordeal, several offended fans of the Oscars have taken to Twitter to express their heightened offense over Hart's drawn-out explanation and why, in their eyes, he got what he deserved.
See their reactions, below:
What is your take?
(Photo by Josiah Kamau/BuzzFoto via Getty Images)
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