While fellow actors, comedians, friends and fans of Hart are showering him in praise, many film writers and Oscar pundits are pointing to his controversial past.
Actor and comedian Kevin Hart will host the 91st Academy Awards telecast on February 24, 2019 -- and reactions to the news are mixed.
While fellow actors, comedians, friends and fans of Hart are showering him in praise, many film writers and Oscar pundits are pointing to his controversial past with cheating, alleged violence and homophobic statements.
He announced he landed the Oscars gig Tuesday afternoon on Instagram, writing, "For years I have been asked if I would ever host the Oscars, and my answer was always the same. I said that it would be the opportunity of a lifetime for me as a comedian and that it will happen when it's supposed to. I am so happy to say that the day has finally come for me to host the Oscars."
"I am blown away simply because this has been a goal on my list for a long time," he continued. "To be able to join the legendary list of hosts that have graced the stage is unbelievable. I know my mom is smiling from ear to ear right now. I want to thank my family/friends/fans for supporting me and riding with me all this time. I will be sure to make this year's Oscars a special one. I appreciate The Academy for the opportunity. Now it's time to rise to the occasion."
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A plethora of famous fans -- including John Legend, Nick Cannon, Tiffany Haddish, Halle Berry, Cedric the Entertainer, Kelly Rowland, Marlon Wayans, Kate Hudson, Trevor Noah, Terry Cruz, Martin Lawrence, Ludacris, Tyrese, Lala Anthony, Terrence J, Miguel, Michael Blackson, Perez Hilton and Keshia Knight Pulliam -- shared congratulatory messages on Hart's post.
Having hosted the BET Awards, MTV Video Music Awards and MTV Movie and TV Awards, it's safe to say Hart has some experience in emceeing major televised ceremonies, but not everyone thinks the honor is deserved.
In December 2017, Hart publicly admitted to cheating on wife Eniko Parrish while she was pregnant with their son earlier in the year. In his 2017 memoir, "I Can't Make This Up," the comedian admitted that there were times when his marriage to first wife Torrei Hart got violent. Hart was also scrutinized in 2010 for having joked that one of his biggest fears is his son "growing up and being gay."
Founder of Awards Watch Erik Anderson was one of the many industry experts who put Hart -- and The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences -- on blast. "Considering how many of the Oscars' biggest fans are women and gay men, it's quite something for the Academy to hire a guy who beat one wife, cheated on another when she was eight months pregnant and said one of his biggest fears is his son growing up and being gay," he tweeted.
Considering how many of the Oscars' biggest fans are women and gay men it's quite something for the Academy to hire a guy who beat one wife, cheated on another when she was eight months pregnant and said one of his biggest fears is his son growing up and being gay.
Benjamin Lee, film writer and journalist for The Guardian, quoted Hart's controversial bit from his 2010 comedy special, "Seriously Funny," tweeting, "And the Oscar for most homophobic host ever goes to..."
In 2015, Hart addressed his homophobic comments in an interview with Rolling Stone, assuring the publication and his fans that he would not make the same joke again. But in 2015, the comedian was again accused of homophobia after the release of his comedy, "Get Hard," in which he starred opposite Will Ferrell. Hart, Ferrell, and Warner Bros. were criticized for the numerous homophobic prison jokes made in the movie.
See more of Twitter's mixed feelings about Hart's Oscars gig below.
#Oscars2019 needed to find a widely recognizable host who could bring some new energy to the show. And Kevin does have bundles and bundles of energy. https://t.co/ztyljElXlV
Wait a minute, they got Kevin Hart to host the Oscars next year? That show will definitely be interesting given that Kevin can either be funny or annoy you with his antics. He better have a strong writing team to back him up.