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GLAAD thinks Kevin Hart shouldn’t have stepped down from hosting the Oscars

July 6, 2017: Kevin Hart at Kevin Hart Day in the City of Philadelphia with Birthday Celebration and Mural Dedication.
July 6, 2017: Kevin Hart at Kevin Hart Day in the City of Philadelphia with Birthday Celebration and Mural Dedication.Photo: Shutterstock

This week, comedian Kevin Hart resigned as the host of the 2019 Academy Awards and apologized to the LGBTQ community after initially refusing to apologize for anti-gay jokes and slurs he made in 2010 and 2011. Since resigning, the LGBTQ media watchdog group GLAAD has since said they wished Hart hadn’t stepped down.

In a statement, GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis wrote, “Kevin Hart shouldn’t have stepped down; he should have stepped up…. Hart’s apology to LGBTQ people is an important step forward, but he missed a real opportunity to use his platform and the Oscars stage to build unity and awareness.”

Earlier in the week, Ellis told CNN, “This wasn’t the conclusion I think everyone would have liked,” adding that GLAAD is still willing to speak with Hart.

If Hart had simply apologized for his anti-gay jokes, he could’ve kept the hosting gig. Instead, Hart began deleting his Twitter account’s anti-gay tweets which resurfaced shortly after the Oscars announced him as their 2019 host.

When asked to apologize by online commenters and the Academy Awards itself, Hart initially refused.

Instead, he posted two Instagram videos: In the caption of the first video, Hart wrote that he loves everybody and added, “You LIVE and YOU LEARN & YOU GROW & YOU MATURE,” and “Stop looking for reasons to be negative.” In the second video, he flat out refused to apologize when asked by Academy Award organizers.

A few hours after the second video, Hart resigned, writing, “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.”

Related: Will Ferrell, Kevin Hart defend “Get Hard” after critics label it racist, homophobic

He added, “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.”

One of Hart’s old routines (below), he mentioned that he once knocked his son and another kid at a party down for having “a gay moment.”

When Rolling Stone asked Hart about his anti-gay schtick in 2015, Hart said, “I wouldn’t tell that joke today, because when I said it, the times weren’t as sensitive as they are now. I think we love to make big deals out of things that aren’t necessarily big deals, because we can. These things become public spectacles. So why set yourself up for failure?”

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