Kevin Hart, an American comedian, actor and producer, has stepped down as the host of the 2019 Oscar awards due to inappropriate and offensive tweets that have resurfaced just days after it was announced.
Earlier this month, it was announced that Kevin Hart would be next in line to host the award ceremony and he would become one of the very few influential black personalities to be given the opportunity, following in the footsteps of Chris Rock, Whoopi Goldberg, Richard Pryor and Sammy Davis Jr.
However, the savagery of social media post archiving meant that users were able to trace tweets dating between 2009 and 2011. These tweets included derogatory language that could be seen as offensive to those within the LGBT community and have been described as ‘hateful’ and ‘malicious’.
The resurfacing of the tweets was the beginning of a PR nightmare, however, Kevin had already addressed these posts in earlier years and decided to take matters into his own hands.
Hart, the second-highest paid comedian this year, was given an ultimatum before he could continue to host the prestigious awards. Apologise or quit.
After the ultimatum was given, Hart failed to address the issue quickly and effectively from his first two posts. These posts were extremely unapologetic and created feelings of disappointment and hurt amongst his fans.
Hart also tried to retract the evidence by deleting the tweets but journalists and online trolls had already screenshotted and spread the homophobic messages around the online world.
During a crisis it is essential to act immediately and make your first statement count. Own up to your own actions, humanise yourself, accept responsibility and apologise with sincerity and an action plan to move forward.
However, Hart only apologised within his third statement after he realised that he was causing upset to the LGBT community and their supporters:
“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.”
Kevin hart could have easily turned this PR nightmare into a positive if he had apologised and stepped up as the host of the Oscars. Within his time on stage, he could of taken a minute to address the situation. He could of raised LGBT awareness and spoken of the empowerment within unity and diversity.
GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said:
“Kevin Hart shouldn’t have stepped down; he should have stepped up.”
Kevin Hart is fully responsible for his social media accounts and what is written BUT should the Oscar selection committee have done their research beforehand? YES.
Should they know of each and every controversy or scandal behind the proposed host before the announcement? YES.
Should they have already created a crisis management/prevention plan beforehand? YES.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Mr Kevin Hart.