GLAAD: Kevin Hart ‘Missed a Real Opportunity’ by Stepping Down From Oscars

The president and CEO of LGBTQ-rights organization GLAAD criticized Kevin Hart Friday for stepping down from his role as Oscar’s host following backlash over his homophobic tweets, arguing that the actor “missed a real opportunity” to fight for “unity and awareness.” Early Friday morning, Hart announced that he would no longer host the 91st Academy Awards, writing, “I do not want to be a distraction on a night that should be celebrated by so many amazing talented artists.” The decision came just a day after his controversial tweets surfaced and were widely criticized on social media.

Hart’s decision upset GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis, who said in a statement cited by The Hollywood Reporter that “Kevin Hart shouldn’t have stepped down; he should have stepped up.” “Hart’s apology to LGBTQ people is an important step forward,” Ellis added, “but he missed a real opportunity to use his platform and the Oscars stage to build unity and awareness. We would still welcome that conversation with him. The Academy has recently made significant strides in featuring diverse talent onstage and they should now double down on that commitment as they look for a new host.”