Just two days after it was revealed that actor-comedian Kevin Hart would be hosting the 91st Academy Awards in February, Hart took to social media Thursday night to announce that he will no longer be doing so after old tweets where he used homophobic terminology and slurs began to resurface, creating a swarm of controversy and backlash.
“I have made the choice to step down from hosting this year’s Oscars,” Hart wrote in a series of tweets. “This is because I do not want to be a distraction on a night that should be celebrated by so many amazingly talented artists. I sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past.”
Hart’s apologetic remarks come just mere hours after he posted a video on Instagram where he described how the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences called him to issue an ultimatum, forcing him to either issue a statement of apology or step down as the host of the Oscars.
“I chose to pass on the apology,” Hart said at the time. “The reason why I passed is because I’ve addressed this several times. This is not the first time this has come up. I’ve addressed it. I’ve spoken on it. I’ve said where the rights and wrongs were. I’ve said who I am now versus who I was then.”
With Hart’s abrupt exit, pressure is mounting on first-time Oscar producers Donna Gigliotti and Glenn Weiss to secure a new host. However, considering how the Oscar hosting gig has become one of the least desired jobs in Hollywood, they could have trouble finding a swift replacement.
The Academy did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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.
— Kevin Hart (@KevinHart4real) December 7, 2018
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.
— Kevin Hart (@KevinHart4real) December 7, 2018
Amid an intense wave of backlash, the Academy has decided to air all Oscar categories live
In the wake of an intense wave of backlash, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Friday that they will be reversing their controversial decision to present four technical categories their awards during commercial breaks at the 91st Oscars ceremony next Sunday.
“The Academy has heard the feedback from its membership regarding the Oscar presentation of four awards – Cinematography, Film Editing, Live Action Short, and Makeup and Hairstyling,” the AMPAS board of governors said in a statement. “All Academy Awards will be presented without edits, in our traditional format.”
Sources familiar with the matter tell Silver Screen Beat that the Academy’s change of heart came after AMPAS president John Bailey and CEO Dawn Hudson met with members of the group’s cinematography branch Thursday evening to discuss the decision, which did not go over well with many Hollywood filmmakers and craftspeople.
“Relegating these essential cinematic crafts to lesser status in this 91st Academy Awards ceremony is nothing less than an insult to those of us who have devoted our lives and passions to our chosen profession,” read an open letter to the Academy signed by dozens of industry figures, including directors Martin Scorsese and Spike Lee and cinematographers Roger Deakins and Rachel Morrison.
The letter ends with a quote from Academy member Seth Rogen, who tweeted earlier this week, “What better way to celebrate achievements in film than to NOT publicly honour the people whose job it is to film things.”
The 91st Oscars will air live from the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on Sunday, February 24 on ABC.
‘Star Wars: Episode IX’ officially wraps principal photography with an emotional cast photo
Star Wars: Episode IX director J.J. Abrams announced today via Twitter that the highly anticipated final chapter in the Skywalker saga has officially wrapped principal photography, leading us to believe that our first look at the film could be just around the corner.
“It feels impossible, but today wrapped photography on Episode IX. There is no adequate way to thank this truly magical crew and cast. I’m forever indebted to you all,” Abrams wrote in his tweet this afternoon.
Abrams’ tweet also includes an emotional set photo featuring cast members Daisy Ridley, who plays Rey, John Boyega, who plays Finn, and Oscar Isaac, who plays Poe Dameron, embracing on their final day of shooting.
“That’s a wrap on Star Wars episode 9 and the end to a chapter of my life that I couldn’t be more thankful for,” Boyega wrote in a tweet of is own. “What a process! It really has been a joy to be in these movies surrounded by amazing people. JJ, thank you for making my dreams come true.”
Abrams, who launched a new era of Star Wars with The Force Awakens in 2015, will now take Episode IX to the editing bay, where it will remain in post-production for the next 10 months or so until its December 20 release date.
You can check out the tweets from Abrams and Boyega below.
It feels impossible, but today wrapped photography on Episode IX. There is no adequate way to thank this truly magical crew and cast. I’m forever indebted to you all. pic.twitter.com/138AprtFuZ
— JJ Abrams (@jjabrams) February 15, 2019
That’s a wrap on Star Wars episode 9 and the end to a chapter of my life that I couldn’t be more thankful for. What a process! It really has been a joy to be in these movies surrounded by amazing people. JJ thank you for making my dreams come true. pic.twitter.com/8b83vQKKDc
— John Boyega (@JohnBoyega) February 15, 2019
Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron strike up a hilarious romance in the first ‘Long Shot’ trailer
Ahead of the film’s world premiere at the South by Southwest Film Festival next month, Lionsgate has released the first trailer for Long Shot, the eagerly awaited romantic comedy starring Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen from The Night Before and 50/50 director Jonathan Levine.
Long Shot follows Fred Flarsky (Rogen), an unemployed journalist who reunites with his first crush (and former babysitter) Charlotte Field (Theron), one of the most influential women in the world. As she begins eyeing a run for the Presidency, she hires Fred as her speechwriter, making him a fish out of water on her elite team.
However, despite Fred’s unpreparedness for her glamorous lifestyle in the limelight, sparks begin to fly as their unmistakable chemistry leads to a round-the-world romance and a serious of unexpected (and somewhat dangerous) incidents.
In addition to the dynamic duo that is Rogen and Theron, Long Shot‘s incredible ensemble cast also includes the likes of O’Shea Jackson Jr., Alexander Skarsgård, Andy Serkis, Ravi Patel, Randall Park, and June Diane Raphael.
Long Shot will have its world premiere at South by Southwest on March 9 before opening in theaters nationwide on May 3.
You can check out the newly released trailer for the film below.