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Kevin Hart Steps Down from Hosting Oscars

The Academy gave Hart the ultimatum to apologize or step down over past homophobic tweets. But the Academy has its own issues it needs to face.


Comedian Kevin Hart tweeted on Tuesday that being selected to host the 2019 Oscars was the "opportunity of a lifetime." On Friday, Hart said that he was stepping down over past anti-gay tweets.

Hart said in an Instagram Post that the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences gave him an ultimatum: apologize or "we're going to have to move on and find another host."

A 2011 tweet that Hart deleted this week, according to BuzzFeed News, 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'."

"What Hart tweeted was crazy and violent," said DiversityInc CEO Luke Visconti. "Makes me wonder if he's afraid of what he sees in the mirror."

Hart is acknowledging that what he did was hurtful and unacceptable.

But was the Academy's demand for an apology solely in support of the LGBT community? Or did worries about viewership factor into their decision?

Academy Awards Viewership Has Been Decreasing

According to reports, the Academy had a hard time finding a host for the 2019 Oscars, a show that has decreased in viewership since 2014.

"The need to win over so many constituents has put off some of the best candidates, who see little upside in taking on a job that pays only low six figures but requires weeks of work; that usually results in a media flaying; and that does little to boost the host's profile," according to The Hollywood Reporter.

So the Academy's invitation to Hart to host the show wasn't sincere. They needed someone to fill the spot.

It seems their ultimatum to Hart was more about losing viewership. For the past 10 years, there certainly hasn't been much advocacy for movie roles reflective of the LGBT community.

A report this year from Professor Stacy L. Smith and the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative at USC, reveals that among the 48,757 characters in 1,100 top studio films from 2007 to 2017, less than 1 percent of all characters were from the LGBT community.

Diversity and Me Too Movement

In 2017, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, the first Black president of the Academy, decided to leave its board and she did not seek re-election. She was the third woman to hold the position since the Academy was founded in 1927. John Bailey, a white man, replaced Boone Isaacs as president.

Following the #OscarsSoWhite controversy, a "diversity initiative" was put in place. This year, the Academy boasted that 38 percent of the Oscars' governing body's new class is made up of people of color. That only increased representation from 13 percent in 2017 to 16 percent. That certainly doesn't reflect the changing demographics of the country, or the demographics of moviegoers.

According to UCLA's " Hollywood Diversity Report," people of color accounted for the majority of ticket sales for five of the top 10 films in 2016 (ranked by global box office).

At this year's Oscars, there was an attempt to recognize the Me Too movement. But the film industry has made Hollywood a haven for powerful men, like Harvey Weinstein, who practice sexual misconduct toward women.

When will the Academy apologize to consumers for being hypocritical?

The Conversation (11)
Cody10 Dec, 2018

Kevin Hart's shoul not be able to host the Oscar's because he's just stupid it's nothing about him funny at all go somewhere else Kevin

Dandy Philkastel08 Dec, 2018

The white man's club in Hollywood clearly needs Kevin. But he sure as hell do not need them. Hart owes them no apologies whatsoever. One should not apologize about what they want or do not want for their children, and their dreams for them.

votetocorrect07 Dec, 2018
Kevin Hart needed to step down because he hasn't changed!
Alan Headbloom07 Dec, 2018

P.S. "Homophobia" is technically the fear of gay folks. More appropriate to the taxonomy is "heterosexism" (the use of the power of a dominant group against a marginalized group).

Alan Headbloom07 Dec, 2018

From his tweet, it looks like Hart DID apologize. Not sure why he had to step down.

07 Dec, 2018

Chris Rock , Dave Chappell and Trevor Noah is Too Real for the Oscars . Bye Oscars

Black Nurse Allegedly Racially Profiled While Caring for Patient

Stephanie Dash was appalled by the treatment she received from Deputy Rhonda Casillas while caring for her patient.

Stephanie Dash / FACEBOOK

Home healthcare nurse, Stephanie Dash, claims she was racially profiled while caring for her white patient in Franklin, Tenn.

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Viral Video Sparks Debate on Racial Disparities in How Police Use Force

A video of a white man yelling at a white cop, without physical consequences, has more than 1 million views.

Botham Jean, Jemel Roberson and Emantic Bradford Jr. were all minding their own business, not mouthing off, and they were shot dead by police. Sandra Bland questioned an officer and wound up dead in a jail cell.

So when a video of an unidentified white man spewing expletives at an officer, throwing his license at the officer, and threatening to kill the officer, without any physical consequences, started circulating on Twitter, it went viral with more than 1 million views this week.

People of color on Twitter commented that had it been them in the video, they would've had bullets in the chest by the time the truck passed:

There are studies that well document how Blacks have been treated differently by police. In the case traffic stops, whites were 57 percent more likely to be spoken to with respectful language, whereas Black drivers were 61 percent more likely to experience an exchange that was the least respectful. Officers language with the least respect included calling people, "dude, bro, boss, man, brotha, sista or chief".

FBI data found that U.S. police kill Black people at disproportionate rates: Black people accounted for 31 percent of police killing victims in 2012, even though they made up just 13 percent of the U.S. population. And 62.7 percent of unarmed people killed by police are Black.

Yet racists, and some conservatives believe the treatment is deserved because Blacks did something wrong.

For example, in Orlando's International Airport in August, a white male Trump supporter tackled to the ground by police for being a disruptive passenger knew his privilege, when he said, "You're being rough with me. You're f***ing treating me like a Black person."

Reader Question: How does the video of the white man berating the white officer make you feel?

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Broward Sheriff's Office deputies shot and killed, Jarvis Randall, a Black psychiatric patient after he allegedly charged at the officers with broken glass.

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In one of the many episodes from Florida's atrociously racist past, lawmakers finally wanted to correct an injustice committed against a group of four Black men known as "The Groveland Four."

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