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Kevin Hart has stepped down as host of the Oscars next year after tweets emerged in which he used homophobic slurs.

The decision comes just three days after he was announced as host of the 91st Academy Awards ceremony.

Tweets originally posted between 2009 and 2011 resurfaced shortly after he was confirmed for the job, containing offensive language towards the LGBT community.

The actor and comedian’s response to the outcry attracted a further backlash, as he wrote on Instagram that critics should “stop being negative”.

Kevin Hart said hosting the Oscars was the 'opportunity of a lifetime'
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Kevin Hart has stepped down just days after he was announced as host

In an accompanying video, Hart said he wasn’t going to “let the craziness frustrate me” and added that he “loves everybody”.

In a second video, Hart said the Academy had asked him to apologise over the tweets but he “chose to pass” as he has “addressed this several times before”.

He said the “same energy that went into finding those old tweets could be the same energy put into finding the response” and that he did not want to have to explain again that he is a different person now.

“I passed 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.



Kevin Hart has let the Academy Awards presentation role go as he wants to put the entire controversy behind him








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Video:
Hart: I’ve ‘moved on’ from homophobic tweets

“I’ve said who I am now versus who I was then. I’ve done it, I’ve done it. I’m not going to continue to go back and tap into the days of old. I’ve moved on, I’m in a completely different space in my life.

“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.

“We feed internet trolls and reward them. I’m not going to do it, man. I’m going to be me, and I’m going to stand my ground.”

However, in a tweet he did apologise “for my insensitive words from the past”.

It comes after LGBTQ media watchdog group GLAAD reportedly contacted the Academy Awards broadcaster ABC, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, and Hart’s management to “discuss Kevin’s anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and record”.

Hart said in a 2010 stand-up special that “if I can prevent my son from being gay, I will.”

He announced he was withdrawing himself from the role in the early hours of Friday morning, writing on Twitter: “I have made the choice to step down from hosting this year’s Oscar’s….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.”

He added in a follow-up post: “I’m sorry that I hurt people.. I am evolving and want to continue to do so.”

Kevin Hart tweet
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Hart says he has addressed “old tweets” previously

The awards ceremony will take place in February, with Hart describing the gig as the “opportunity of a lifetime” when he was made host.

The 39-year-old wrote: “I am so happy to say that the day has finally come for me to host the Oscars.

“I am blown away simply because this has been a goal on my list for a long time.

“To be able to join the legendary list of hosts that have graced that stage is unbelievable. I know my mom is smiling from ear to ear right now.”

A representative for the Oscars did not immediately respond to messages after Hart stepped down.

Now, speculation is growing as to who will take over as host.

Actress Busy Philipps has thrown her hat into the ring, and made a case for the host being female.

The controversy comes after several years of upset for the Oscars, following recognition of a diversity problem with the #OscarsSoWhite movement, and La La Land being mistakenly announced as the winner of best picture last year.

Next year’s ceremony will take place in Los Angeles on Sunday 24 February.



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There have been incidents of animals on planes urinating and defecating. File pic
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There have been incidents of animals on planes urinating and defecating. File pic

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John Laughter, Delta’s senior vice president for corporate safety, security and compliance, said: “These updates support Delta’s commitment to safety and also protect the rights of customers with documented needs, such as veterans with disabilities, to travel with trained service and support animals.”

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Spilt chocolate is cleared from a road in Werl, Germany
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Known as the dracula ant, its jaws snap shut 5,000 times faster than the blink of an eye at 200mph.

The tiny insect is comfortably ahead of the cheetah, whose record running speed is 60mph.

Researchers believe the ants, found in Africa, Australia and southeast Asia, use their rapidly accelerating jaws to smash into potential prey.

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Dracula ants were discovered in 1994 – and at 200mph, their jaw motion is three times faster than trap-jaw ants – the previous record-holders.

The findings were published in the journal Royal Society Open Science.

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