Kevin Hart looks back at a controversial moment from his past.
In a new interview published Wednesday, the “Jumanji: The Next Level” star opens up about stepping down as the host of the 2019 Academy Awards after many felt his resurfaced tweets and stand-up material were homophobic.
In his 2010 comedy special “Seriously Funny,” the actor said, “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.”
Additionally, one of his reported tweets read, “Yo if my son comes home & try’s 2 play with my daughters doll house I’m going 2 break it over his head & say n my voice ‘stop that’s gay.’”
In response to the backlash, the comic posted an Instagram video that many interpreted as a non-apology.
“Guys, I’m almost 40 years old,” Hart said in the December 2018 clip. “If you don’t believe that people change, grow, evolve as they get older, I don’t know what to tell you. If you want to hold people in a position where they always have to justify or explain their past, then do you. I’m the wrong guy, man.”
That month, he announced he was stepping down as Oscars host, writing on Twitter, “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.”
While speaking to Men’s Health, Hart expresses regret with how he dealt with the situation.
“With the whole Oscars thing, there was a big gap between what I thought the problem was versus what the problem really was,” he explained.
Hart said he reacted out of anger because he believed people were mislabeling him as homophobic.
“I got 10 years where I made sure not to joke or play in the way that I did back then because it was a problem,” he said. “I don’t care if you’re gay or not gay. I’m a people person. I’m going to love you regardless.”
However, after talking to his openly gay friends, Kevin realized the error in his ways.
“It wasn’t until close friends like Wanda Sykes, Lee Daniels, and Ellen [DeGeneres] talked to me and explained what they didn’t hear me say that I understood. Then I was like, ‘Oh, ---- — I did ---- up.’”