'Toxic masculinity is real': The internet debates Kevin Hart stepping down as Oscars host over homophobic comments

Kevin Hart (Photo: Getty Images)
Kevin Hart (Photo: Getty Images)

Kevin Hart will not be hosting the Oscars — and people have mixed feelings about that.

Two days after he was announced as host, the comedic actor stepped down from the role on Thursday night, after there was a public backlash over homophobic comments he had made in his standup routines in the past as well as online. Hart initially refused to apologize for his anti-gay remarks, but in the announcement, he made pulling out from the gig, he said, “I sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past.”

While people were initially lukewarm to him landing the job in the first place, the fact that he will now not be doing it has people riled up in a different way. The most liked comment on our story about him stepping down is this one: “It’s sad that people bring up things that happened in the past and try to ruin a person’s career. If I were Kevin I wouldn’t want to host it either for the reason it’s not about Entertainment anymore it’s political arena for celebrities. I quit watching award shows a couple of years ago for that reason. I also quit watching the Late night talk shows for the same reason.” There are also dozens of comments about the country becoming too politically correct.

But many, many others are truly offended that Hart — who did a whole rant in his 2010 Seriously Funny comedy special about how his “biggest fear” was his son, then 3, would become gay and how he’d do anything to prevent it — would be the face of the show, especially when the 2019 Academy Awards could shape up to be the most diverse to date, with many films featuring LGBT characters being honored. Not to mention the show is airing on a network, ABC, which, under its parent company, Disney, has shown zero tolerance for bigoted comments in wake of the axing of Roseanne Barr and Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn. So shouldn’t Hart be subject to the same rules?

Hart’s anti-gay bit from Seriously Funny:

Some of Hart’s tweets, which were deleted in middle of the backlash:

Comedian and actor Billy Eichner tweeted while the drama with Hart played out on Thursday night. This was his response when Hart initially refused to apologize:

This referenced the multiple anti-gay tweets Hart had posted between 2009 and 2011, including “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.”:

And after Hart stepped down — and finally did apologize to the LGBTQ community — Eichner posted again.

Eichner was just one of many to react. Jamie Lee Curtis made a very powerful statement: that “homophobia is not positivity.”

The folks at GLAAD were shocked by Hart stepping down, saying they wished it had been a “teachable moment.”

“Pose” actress Indya Moore spoke to the backlash against Hart being pushed out of the gig.

Mark Harris viewed it as the best possible outcome.

Some pointed out that this didn’t have to be the end game for Hart.

And some just took shots at Hart, who has weathered more than one controversy.

Kathy Griffin was completely behind an assessment that a female comic would be destroyed if she refused to apologize, as Hart initially did.

Of course, others had a different take — and said they are exhausted by this “mob mentality” and constant “outrage”:

Meanwhile, now that there is a big job opening, others are raising their hands. Ricky Gervais threw his hat into the ring — and the Academy under the bus, with a reference to Mel Gibson.

“Dear c***s i n charge of The Oscars,” Gervais wrote, “let me host your show, and I promise I won’t offend anyone, Not even Mel Gibson, who you nominated last year.” (Photo: Facebook/Ricky Gervais)
“Dear c***s i n charge of The Oscars,” Gervais wrote, “let me host your show, and I promise I won’t offend anyone, Not even Mel Gibson, who you nominated last year.” (Photo: Facebook/Ricky Gervais)

Busy Philipps volunteered.

While others offered up other suggestions:

And some are hoping this whole thing with Kevin Hart stepping down will lead to Maroon 5 backing out of the Super Bowl.

While the search for a new Oscars host is underway, it’s clear that the debate about Hart will rage on.

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