Kevin Hart Steps Down as Oscars Host After Refusing Academy Demand

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Kevin Hart

The abrupt move comes after a mounting controversy over the star’s past anti-gay tweets.

Kevin Hart is stepping down as Oscars host just two days after the Academy announced he would take on the high-profile gig. The move came amid a mounting controversy after old tweets surfaced in which Hart expressed anti-gay sentiments and used homophobic terminology and slurs.

In a tweet late Thursday, Hart officially withdrew from hosting the Oscars, a role he had long wanted to step into. “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,” Hart wrote.

He added seconds later, “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.”

Earlier in the evening, Hart had posted an Instagram video from Sydney, Australia, where he is touring, saying that he had refused a demand from the Academy to apologize. He said the Academy gave him an ultimatum: Apologize for his old tweets or step down as Oscars host.

“I passed. The reason I passed is because I’ve addressed this several times. This is not the first time this has come up,” he said. “Regardless, to the Academy, I’m thankful for the opportunity, if it goes away, no harm, no foul,” Hart added.

Ironically, in giving up the hosting spot, Hart actually offered the apology that earlier he had refused to provide.

The Academy did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

But for the Academy, the situation smacks of déjà vu. In late 2011, Brett Ratner resigned as producer of the 84th Academy Awards after saying “rehearsal is for fags” in a public Q&A for his film Tower Heist. Ratner’s exit led to the departure of Eddie Murphy, that year’s announced host, who stepped down in solidarity. (Billy Crystal filled in.)

Losing Hart as host will put even more pressure on Donna Gigliotti, who is producing the 91st Oscars, set to be broadcast by ABC on Feb. 24. This week’s announcement that Hart would host came relatively late in the process. Now, finding a new host to take on emcee duties could be even more difficult.

Earlier in the day, Hart issued an Instagram video in which he said, “I swear, man, our world is becoming beyond crazy. I’m not going to let the craziness frustrate me or anger me, especially when I worked hard to get to the mental space that I am at now.”

He continued, “My team calls me, ‘Oh, my God, Kevin, this world is upset about tweets you did years ago.’Guys. I’m almost 40 years old. If you don’t believe that people change, grow, evolve as they 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,” Hart says. “I’m in a great place, a great mature place, where all I do is spread positivity.”

The tweets in question included a 2011 tweet in which the comedian and movie star had written, “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.'” In another from 2010, Hart says someone’s profile pic looks “like a gay bill board for AIDS.” In another written in 2009, he called someone a “fat faced fag.”

Those tweets and many more like them could be found as recently as Tuesday, the day Hart was announced as host. But as word of them began to spread in the days following, they began to disappear.

The tweets drew condemnation from the likes of actor-comedian Billy Eichner, who tweeted, “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.”

Journalist Mark Harris went even further, tweeting the choice of Hart as host was “out-of-sync for a year in which Rami Malek, Melissa McCarthy, Olivia Colman, Mahershala Ali, Richard E. Grant, Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz and Lucas Hedges could all get nominated for playing LBGTQ characters.”

GLAAD reached out to ABC, the Academy and Hart’s management to “discuss his rhetoric and record as well as opportunities for positive LGBTQ inclusion on the Oscars stage,” said Rich Ferraro, chief communications officer for GLAAD. He said they did not immediately respond.

It was not the first time Hart’s thoughts on LGBT people have caused controversy. A 2011 standup routine about his then 3-year-old son having a “gay moment” — “You’ve got to nip it in the bud!” he warned the audience — was criticized as promoting homophobic and dangerous parenting, according to The Guardian.

Pose star Indya Moore — whose groundbreaking trans series drew Golden Globe nominations for best drama and best actor (for Billy Porter) — penned a lengthy Twitter thread that laid into Hart for “sexualizing” his son in his 2011 routine, adding, “‘Your choice to prevent’ your child from being ‘gay’ is fear driver. You ARE homophobic Kevin.”

“You @KevinHart4real are NOT FIT a model, or representative to Host for the @TheAcademy which CELEBRATES & WELCOMES talent of all genders, sexualities, & ethnicities,” Moore continued. Pose executive producer Ryan Murphy retweeted several of the tweets.

Hart told Rolling Stone in 2015 that he wouldn’t tell the joke again, “because when I said it, the times weren’t as sensitive as they are now.”

[“source=forbes]

Oscar buzz for ‘Mary Poppins Returns’ after first Hollywood screening

Mary Poppins Returns is shaping up to be an awards contender if the early reactions coming out of Hollywood are to be believed, with Emily Blunt tipped to receive her first ever Oscar nomination.

The musical sequel, starring Blunt in the title role, held screenings for tastemakers and academy voters over the last week where it was met with rapturous responses and standing ovations.

The long-awaited sequel to 1964’s Mary Poppins hits cinemas this Christmas, and Disney is hoping to repeat the awards success of the original which earned 13 Academy Award nominations and won 5.

Industry paper Variety hailed Returns as “a bona fide best picture Oscar player this year” citing a “applause throughout a Producers Guild screening on Wednesday” and a “lengthy standing ovation” for the cast and crew at an “all-guild” screening on Saturday.

The film has been praised for giving Oscar voters some much-needed respite from the hard-hitting issues tackled by other big contenders like A Star Is Born and Vice.

“Mary Poppins Returns will be a massive hit,” sums up Variety’s Kristopher Taply, “which will drive the point home all the more: Audiences want a movie like this right now. Critics, even the most cynical of them (whether they admit it or not), want a movie like this right now.”

The original film is considered Walt Disney’s crowning achievement earning 13 Oscar nominations – the most any Walt Disney Studios has ever received – including the only Best Picture nomination producer Disney received in his lifetime. The film won 5 of those Oscars, including Best Actress for Julie Andrews in her feature film debut.

Emily Blunt is being tipped to repeat Andrews’ success with Indiewire’s Bill Desowitz saying the British A Quiet Place star “portrays the iconic nanny with such confidence and charm that she could land a Best Actress Oscar nomination”.

View photos

Emily Blunt receives instructions from director Rob Marshall on the set of Mary Poppins Returns. (Disney)

Awards prognosticator Gregory Ellwood of the The Playlist concurs saying Blunt “is absolutely superb and her performance puts her smack dab in the middle of the Best Actress race”. Ellwood cites Olivia Colman (The Favourite) and Lady Gaga (A Star Is Born) as Blunt’s biggest rivals for the gold trophy that will be handed out on 28 February, 2019.

Early reactions suggest the film could also do well in the craft categories, with nominations expected to land for costumes, production design, and of course – the music.

Meryl Streep has also been given an outside chance of bagging a Best Supporting Actress nomination playing Topsy Turvy, but then it doesn’t take much for Streep to get a nod, does it?

Mary Poppins Returns hits cinemas on 21 December, 2018. Watch a trailer below.

[“source=.yahoo]

Shoaib Malik Posts Emotional Message After Pulling Out Of T10 League

Shoaib Malik Posts Emotional Message After Pulling Out Of T10 League

Shoaib Malik has pulled out of T10 League to spend time with his wife and son. © Twitter

Shoaib Malik will not be a part of the T10 League, the Pakistan cricketer announced via an emotional post on his official Twitter handle on Monday night. Shoaib Malik was set to play for the Punjab Legends in the second season of the T10 League but he said that he wants to be with his wife, Sania Miza, and son, Izhaan Mirza-Malik, “more than anything else”. Shoaib Malik and Indian tennis star Sania Mirza, who got married on April 12, 2010, became parents of a baby boy on October 29

 

[“source=ndtv”]

Janhvi And Arjun Kapoor On Anshula Being ‘Abused’ After Koffee With Karan

Janhvi And Arjun Kapoor On Anshula Being 'Abused' After Koffee With Karan

Anushla Kapoor being trolled, abused and threatened for seemingly choosing to help Arjun Kapoor instead of Janhvi during a friendly competition on Koffee With Karan 6 is everything that’s wrong with social media. A section of the internet called Anshula out for being biased towards Arjun while some called her “mean and rude.” “Anshula, you are an extremely vile girl to be around Jhanvi and Khushi” – comments such as this were posted on social media. Janhvi, during a conversation with Priyanka Chopra for Facebook live session ‘Social For Good’, said that Anshula received “rape threats” for not helping Janhvi out on the show.

Arjun Kapoor, incensed with the hate comments targeting Anshula, tweeted on Wednesday: “Something I assumed was an absolute non-issue on Koffee With Karan has escalated into Anshula being abused and I can’t be bothered by protocol anymore. F**k all those trolls who wish harm to my sister. I hope your mom or sister never have to go through what you have put us through.”

Host Karan Johar also backed Arjun and added: “It was a harmless fun game and did not warrant this response! People genuinely need to stop this intense negativity.”

[“source=ndtv”][“source=ndtv”]

Oscar buzz for ‘Mary Poppins Returns’ after first Hollywood screening

Image result for Oscar buzz for 'Mary Poppins Returns' after first Hollywood screening

Emily Blunt, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and the animal stars of Mary Poppins Returns (Disney)

Mary Poppins Returns is shaping up to be an awards contender if the early reactions coming out of Hollywood are to be believed, with Emily Blunt tipped to receive her first ever Oscar nomination.

The musical sequel, starring Blunt in the title role, held screenings for tastemakers and academy voters over the last week where it was met with rapturous responses and standing ovations.

The long-awaited sequel to 1964’s Mary Poppins hits cinemas this Christmas, and Disney is hoping to repeat the awards success of the original which earned 13 Academy Award nominations and won 5.

Industry paper Variety hailed Returns as “a bona fide best picture Oscar player this year” citing a “applause throughout a Producers Guild screening on Wednesday” and a “lengthy standing ovation” for the cast and crew at an “all-guild” screening on Saturday.

The film has been praised for giving Oscar voters some much-needed respite from the hard-hitting issues tackled by other big contenders like A Star Is Born and Vice.

“Mary Poppins Returns will be a massive hit,” sums up Variety’s Kristopher Taply, “which will drive the point home all the more: Audiences want a movie like this right now. Critics, even the most cynical of them (whether they admit it or not), want a movie like this right now.”

[“source=yahoo]

Celina Jaitly to return to Bollywood after 7 years

Former beauty queen Celina Jaitly is set to return to Bollywood after seven years with Ram Kamal Mukherjee’s Hindi film ‘A Tribute to Rituparno Ghosh: Season’s Greetings’. The film is based on a mother-daughter relationship and Celina will be playing the role of the daughter, opposite veteran actor Lillette Dubey.

The film will also star debutant Azhar Khan as male protagonist. “I am extremely happy to be a part of ‘Sea son’s Greetings’, because I have always considered Kamal as a creative person and when he narrated me this story in Dubai, I had goosebumps.”

Paoli Dam was to play the daughter’s role in the film initially, but she isn’t being able to be a part of the project due to prior commitments. “I am feeling really sad that I will not be a part of the film due to my prior commitment which is incidentally clashing with the shooting dates of this film,” Paoli said in a statement.

[“source=magtheweekly.com]