After months of controversy, everyone watching the red carpet at the 2019 Academy Awards on Sunday night was waiting to see if one famous face would make an appearance. So, following all the drama ahead of the show, did Kevin Hart attend the 2019 Oscars? It seems like the comedian is laying low on Hollywood's big night.
In early December, the comedian was announced as the host of the 2019 Oscars, describing the offer on Instagram as the "opportunity of a lifetime." However, Hart quickly found himself in hot water after homophobic jokes he'd tweeted resurfaced, and critics dug up a monologue he'd given during his Seriously Funny standup special in 2010. "One of my biggest fears is my son growing up and being gay. That's a fear. Keep in mind, I'm not homophobic... Be happy. Do what you want to do. But me, as a heterosexual male, if I can prevent my son from being gay, I will," he'd said.
In response to the backlash, Hart wrote on Instagram that people bringing his old jokes to light were "looking for a reason to be negative," and stated that he wouldn't apologize for the comments. "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," Hart captioned a video of himself addressing the controversy. "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."
Just two days after he was hired, however, Hart officially stepped down as host of the 2019 Academy Awards, and tweeted an apology for his "insensitive words." In a series of posts, the comedian wrote, "I have made the choice to step down from hosting this year's Oscars....this is because I do not want to be a distraction on a night that should be celebrated by so many amazing talented artists." In January, the Academy announced that this year's ceremony would not have a host at all.
Though Hart earned a great deal of negative attention for his homophobic tweets, he did have one major public supporter in Ellen DeGeneres. The talk show host declared her support for Hart during an interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, where she explained that she felt the Academy should offer Hart the gig once again. "I believe in forgiveness. I believe in second chances. And I believe in @KevinHart4real," DeGeneres tweeted alongside a clip from the interview.
During the interview, Hart claimed that the tweets were "a malicious attack on my character," saying, "This wasn't an accident. This wasn't a coincidence. It wasn't a coincidence that the day after I received the job that tweets just somehow manifested from 2008." Hart also said that he didn't want to apologize again because "somebody has to take a stand against the quote-unquote trolls."
However, some other celebrities publicly criticized Hart for refusing to apologize, including his longtime friend, Terry Crews. During an interview with BuzzFeed News on January, the Brooklyn Nine-Nine star emphasized the importance of men taking accountability for their actions. "The truth is, Kevin, you're not being attacked," Crews said. "The truth is you have to just acknowledge what went on and acknowledge the pain of other people. That's all anybody's asking for. That's it."
Hart doesn't seem to have heeded his friend's words, but he does appear to be taking a step back to allow the Oscars to go on, at least from this point forward, drama-free.