Comedian Kevin Hart is set to host the 2019 Academy Awards. In preparation, he has apparently been pruning his past tweets for material that could be construed as controversial. The move has landed him in some very hot water, as people have accused the deleted tweets of being homophobic.
The day after he announced the hosting gig on Instagram, Guardian east coast arts editor Benjamin Lee tweeted "I wonder when Kevin Hart is gonna start deleting all his old tweets," sharing screenshots of the material he found offensive.
One problem tweet read, "Yo if my son comes home & try's 2 play with my daughters doll house I'm going 2 break it over his head & say n my voice 'stop that's gay'."
People are also now mad at him for a tweet that read, "Why does @DamienDW profile pic look like a gay bill board for AIDS………Booom, I'm on fire tonight."
Lee also took quotes from his standup, which he thought pointed to homophobia.
In response to the backlash, Hart wrote on his 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."
Elsewhere, he wrote, “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.”
The public is angry, and some comedians are also voicing their criticisms of Hart's tweets and material. Hart says that hosting the Academy Awards is an "opportunity of a lifetime."