Billy Eichner, Jamie Lee Curtis, Ricky Gervais and Busy Philipps are among the stars weighing in on the controversy.
Almost Oscars host Kevin Hart refused to apologize for old homophobic tweets that ignited a firestorm of backlash this week, deciding to just step down from the Academy Awards gig instead, and Hollywood has thoughts.
Gay comedian and actor Billy Eichner followed the entire whirlwind series of events from start to finish, and initially tweeting early Thursday that he's "ok with tasteless jokes" but was particularly bothered by Hart's tweets in question because "you can tell its not just a joke-there’s real truth, anger & fear behind these."
"I hope Kevin’s thinking has evolved since 2011," concluded while sharing an article about the backlash over the tweets and Hart deleting them. But when Hart shared his initial reaction to the backlash without any kind of apology, Eichner was peeved.
"This is not good. A simple, authentic apology showing any bit of understanding or remorse would have been so simple," he tweeted. "Like I tweeted a few weeks ago, Hollywood still has a real problem with gay men. On the surface it may not look like it. Underneath, it’s far more complicated."
In Hart's first video responding the uproar over his tweets, he blamed the world "becoming beyond crazy,” and explained, "Guys, I’m almost 40 years old, if you don’t believe people change, grow evolve as the 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."
View this post on Instagram
Stop looking for reasons to be negative...Stop searching for reasons to be angry....I swear I wish you guys could see/feel/understand the mental place that I am in. I am truly happy people....there is nothing that you can do to change that...NOTHING. I work hard on a daily basis to spread positivity to all....with that being said. 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. I live to Love....Please take your negative energy and put it into something constructive. Please....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....Have a beautiful day
"Halloween" star Jamie Lee Curtis, however, found Hart's response to be hypocritical. "Homophobia is not positivity," she Thursday evening. Gay YouTube star Tyler Oakley appreciated her pointing that out and replied to her tweet, "Thank YOU!"
Conan O'Brien's sidekick Andy Richter poked fun at Hart for saying he is "in love with the man that I am becoming," and tweeted instead, "The man I’m becoming just broke up with me! :-("
A few hours later, Hart shared another update: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences asked the comedian to apologize for his old tweets or step down as host, and Hart chose the latter. Eichner was floored.
"Wow. Just...wow. Does he realize he signed up to host the OSCARS?" the "Billy on the Street" host tweeted. "You wanna tweet 'jokes' about gay bashing your own son I guess that’s your choice but at the very least, KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE!!!"
The story took another turn after Hart finally did apologize with two tweets:
"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. 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."
Eichner appreciated the gesture.
I’m no saint. We just wanted a little understanding, a little explanation. Apologies are tough - they leave you vulnerable. Toxic masculinity is real. I deal with it in my own way too. So on that note, I appreciate @KevinHart4real apologizing. And apology accepted. That’s all.— billy eichner (@billyeichner) December 7, 2018
From there, the discussion was focused on the future: Who should host the Oscars?
Browse more reactions to one of the briefest, yet most exhausting Oscar scandals in history as the hunt for the actual host of the 2019 Academy Awards begins all over again.
I AM AVAILABLE. https://t.co/dEhc71u6pA— Busy Philipps (@BusyPhilipps) December 7, 2018
I will say this again. I AM TECH AVAIL. https://t.co/Sw5gf24zYB— Busy Philipps (@BusyPhilipps) December 7, 2018
Melissa McCarthy should so obviously be the Oscars host that I'm irritated having to even say it.— Michael Ian Black (@michaelianblack) December 7, 2018
Hey, Oscar, two words for ya: PATTON OSWALT. He’a funny,sharp-tongued, and he knows film.— Stephen King (@StephenKing) December 7, 2018
The only time I'm offended by a comedian is when they apologise.— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) December 7, 2018
Dear cunts in charge of The Oscars, let me host your show, and I promise I won't offend anyone. Not even Mel Gibson, who you nominated last year. pic.twitter.com/JTp1CefQoy— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) December 7, 2018
I think Siri and Alexa should host the Oscars.— Wanda Sykes (@iamwandasykes) December 7, 2018
Oscar making his push to host the Oscars. https://t.co/tI8w3rrClI— Matthew A. Cherry (@MatthewACherry) December 7, 2018
BREAKING NEWS: Mother Teresa To Host Oscars.— Jeff Ross (@realjeffreyross) December 7, 2018
@kathygriffin for Oscar host!— Al Jean (@AlJean) December 7, 2018
Kevin Hart is a comedian, problem is he wasn’t joking about gay people. He’s long been problematic on LGBT comments and refuses to fully apologize & be an ally. If he has evolved so much an apology isn’t that hard. (1)— Jonathan Van Ness (@jvn) December 7, 2018
(2) Homophobia shouldn’t be rewarded, especially w so many queer comedians of color who could host the FUCK out of the oscars - or people of color who don’t make violent homophobic & AIDS jokes albeit years ago but can’t apologize w no qualifications when it’s brought up.— Jonathan Van Ness (@jvn) December 7, 2018