The actor-comedian made the announcement on Twitter with an apology to the LGBTQ community-“This is because I do not want to be a distraction on a night that should be celebrated by so many amazing talented artists,” Hart wrote. “I sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past.”
In a previous Instagram video, Hart tried to shoot down escalating concerns over a long history of hate speech and derogatory jokes about the LGBTQ community on social media which resurfaced in national news after he was named host of the Oscars 2019.
“Stop looking for reasons to be negative, stop searching for reasons to be angry.” Hart wrote on Instagram but the trolls didn’t abate as people chided him to apologise rather than trying to deflect from the ghost from his past.
Hart fired back: “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 another 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.”
Still the trolls came and eventually the comedian 'caved' tweeting: I'm sorry that I hurt people.. I am evolving and want to continue to do so. My goal is to bring people together not tear us apart. Much love & appreciation to the Academy. I hope we can meet again’’.
The search continues for the Academy for a suitable replacement.