The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) has sparked backlash with its decision to hire Kevin Hart as the host of the 2019 Academy Awards. Many think the comedian isn’t the right choice for the gig considering his history of domestic violence during his marriage to first wife Torrei Hart and his homophobic jokes.
Erik Anderson, the founder of Awards Watch, pointed out, “Considering how many of the Oscars’ biggest fans are women and gay men it’s quite something for the Academy to hire a guy who beat one wife, cheated on another when she was eight months pregnant and said one of his biggest fears is his son growing up and being gay.”
Benjamin Lee, film writer and journalist for The Guardian, shared Hart’s controversial remarks from his 2010 comedy special “Seriously Funny” and wrote along with it, “And the Oscar for most homophobic host ever goes to….”
Another baffled Twitter user cynically wrote, “Really? One of the most HOMOPHOBIC ACTORS/COMEDIANS ALIVE TODAY? Yeah good plan, Academy.”
Another announced boycott on the upcoming Oscars due to Hart’s participation in the event, “Does @TheAcademy know about @KevinHart4real’s history of homophobia? How can they claim to care about diversity and then pick this man as host? I’ll be skipping the Oscars this year.”
“I’m asking myself why gay hating Kevin Hart is hosting the the Oscars?” another questioned the Academy’s decision. “The Academy has been about inclusion and now it’s headed back to the past promoting anti gay views through its endorsement of hart.”
In a 2015 interview with Rolling Stone, Hart promised that he would not make homophobic jokes again and claimed that the remarks were reflecting his own insecurities instead of taking aim at the LGBTQ community. He, however, was accused of being homophobic again after the release of his 2015 comedy “Get Hard“.
It would be especially awkward since this year’s Oscar contenders include LGBTQ-themed movies like “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” and “Boy Erased“, “Bohemian Rhapsody” which is about gay singer Freddie Mercury as well as “A Star Is Born” which stars gay icon Lady GaGa.
Hart and the Academy have not responded to the protest. He previously said he’s “so happy” to have been chosen as the host for next year’s Oscars, which will be held on February 24.
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