Kevin Hart will no longer host the 2019 Academy Awards. File picture: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP
US comedian and actor Kevin Hart abruptly withdrew from hosting the  Oscars Thursday night amid flack for past homophobic and anti-gay
tweets.

Two days after announcing he had landed what he called a dream gig,  Hart said that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences had told him to choose between apologizing for the tweets or losing the job . Hart said the tweets were from nearly a decade ago and that he  has matured since then.

"I chose to pass on the apology. The reason why I passed is because  I've addressed this several times," Hart, 39, said during a video  posted to Instagram.

"I've said who I am now versus who I was then. I've done it. 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 place in my life," Hart  said.

View this post on Instagram

Stop looking for reasons to be negative.Stop searching for reasons to be angry....I swear I wish you guys could see/feel/understand the mental place that I am in. I am truly happy people....there is nothing that you can do to change that...NOTHING. I work hard on a daily basis to spread positivity to all....with that being said. If u want to search my history or past and anger yourselves with what u find that is fine with me. I’m almost 40 years old and I’m in love with the man that I am becoming. You LIVE and YOU LEARN & YOU GROW & YOU MATURE. I live to Love....Please take your negative energy and put it into something constructive. Please....What’s understood should never have to be said. I LOVE EVERYBODY.....ONCE AGAIN EVERYBODY. If you choose to not believe me then that’s on you....Have a beautiful day

A post shared by Kevin Hart (@kevinhart4real) on


On Twitter, Hart apologized to the LGBTQ community for what he called  "my insensitive words from my past."

"I'm sorry that I hurt people," he added. "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 Academy must now find a new host for the 91st Academy Awards in February.

The "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle" star was to have hosted the  glitzy event after talk show host Jimmy Kimmel held the gig for two  consecutive years.
 
Whoever hosts it will face pressure to boost audience ratings for the  annual show that will be held on February 24 in Hollywood and which  had an all-time low of 26.5 million viewers last year, compared to 43  million in 2014.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has said that it was  introducing a number of changes to improve viewership, including  shortening the show to three hours and handing out some of the awards  during commercial breaks.

AFP