Reuters New York, NY, USA
Jan 10, 2019, 10.40 AM
The actor Kevin Hart ruled out hosting this year's Oscars because he no longer had enough time to prepare for the show, days after saying he was evaluating his December decision to step down over criticism of past homophobic comments.
He told ABC that he was no longer willing to discuss the anti-gay comments he had made on Twitter in 2010 and 2011, which caused the uproar that led him to step down as host, saying his previous explanations and apology were sufficient.
"I'm over it," he said repeatedly to almost every question on the topic during a sometimes testy interview on ABC's 'Good Morning America.'
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences named Hart as Oscars host in December, but he stepped down soon after amid criticism of his past tweets.
Last week, Hart had said he was re-evaluating that decision after the openly-gay comedian Ellen DeGeneres, a past Oscars host, said she had called the Academy to advocate for Hart. By Wednesday, the evaluation appeared to be over.
"No, I'm not hosting the Oscars this year," he said in an ABC interview. "It's not in God's plan right now." He said he could not rule out hosting in future years.
Hart, known for his stand-up comedy and roles in films including 'Ride Along,' said he would not have enough time ahead of the Feb. 24 ceremony in Los Angeles to prepare to do a professional job: "If I do something I want to give it my all."
He was no longer willing to discuss the anti-gay comments he had made, which caused the uproar that led him to step down as host.