The comedian and actor quit after alleged homophobic tweets he sent between 2009 and 2011 surfaced, which contained offensive language towards the LGBT+ community.
The 39-year-old was named as the host of the 2019 Academy Awards on Tuesday, describing the role as “the opportunity of a lifetime”.
However, on Friday morning, Hart confirmed he would no longer be fronting the awards on 25 February next year.
Sharing the update in a tweet, he wrote: “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.”
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.— Kevin Hart (@KevinHart4real) December 7, 2018
After he was announced as the 2019 host, many people took to Twitter to highlight the offensive tweets sent by the US star in the past.
After seeing this @benfraserlee tweet, I did a search for every time Kevin Hart tweeted "fag," "homo," or "gay." It was…a lot. And he seems to have basically stopped tweeting those words after 2011 — i.e. the year his first stand-up movie became a hit. https://t.co/P8nTOilFgxpic.twitter.com/6uzPhnvt4F— Adam B. Vary (@adambvary) December 5, 2018
Shortly afterwards, Hart posted a video to Instagram saying he had received a call from the Academy telling him to apologise or he would be removed as host.
But in the video, he refused to apologise, saying: “I chose to pass, I passed on the apology.
“The reason I chose to pass is because I’ve addressed this several times, this is not the first time this has come up, I’ve addressed this… 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 space in my life.
“Regardless, Academy, I’m thankful and appreciative of the opportunity. If it goes away no harm no foul.”
In another Instagram video, Hart addresses those who had called out his tweets, insisting he had changed.
“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,” he says.
“If you want to hold people in a position where they always have to justify or explain their past, then do you. I’m the wrong guy, man, I’m in a great place, a great mature place where all I do is spread positivity.”
After being announced as the host of the 2019 Oscars on Tuesday, Hart said he was “blown away”.
He would have been one of only a few black Oscar hosts in the event’s history, after Chris Rock, Whoopi Goldberg and Sammy Davis Jr fronted the bash.
A replacement host has yet to be announced.