As Benjamin Lee points out in a piece for The Guardian, when Hart was asked in 2015 about joking about not wanting his son to be gay, he said, "I wouldn't tell that joke today, because when I said it, the times weren't as sensitive as they are now". "This is because I do not want to be a distraction on a night that should be celebrated by so many incredible talented artists". "I swear, our world is becoming beyond insane, and I'm not gonna let the craziness frustrate me or anger me, especially when I've worked hard to get to the mental space that I'm at now", he says.
In Hart's 2010 comedy special Seriously Funny, he did a bit that had him saying that his "biggest fear" was his son "growing up and being gay". If u want to search my history or past and anger yourselves with what u find that is fine with me.
"Guys, I'm nearly 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".
The post comes less than two hours after the comic defiantly said he would not apologize in a video he shared to Instagram, claiming that he'd "addressed this several times" over the years and didn't feel he needed to do so again.
Hart wrote on Twitter, "I have made the choice to step down from hosting this year's Oscars. this is because I do not want to be a distraction on a night that should be celebrated by so many awesome talented artists".
In his video, the comedian says that he will "pass on the apology".
When it came to the joke about not wanting his son to be gay, Kevin told Weiner, "It's about my fear". If you don't believe that people change, grow, evolve as they get older. But we hope he has a attractive day. "I've done it. I'm not going to continue to go back and tap into the days of old when I've moved on and I'm in a completely different place in my life".
In his later Instagram message, he complained that he had already addressed the tweets in the past and that "we feed into internet trolls and we reward them".
With the entertainment industry at the fore of societal change amongst the #MeToo era, having an Academy Awards host who not only has a past riddled with latent homophobia, but refuses to acknowledge or apologise for it, is a backwards step.
This came after tweets dated from 2009 to 2011 surfaced showed the comedian spewing blatant anti-gay rhetoric.
It'd be one thing if this was a one-time tweet (Still bad, but not as bad), or if he apologized, or if he didn't call out people who were alarmed by him repeatedly using the word "gay" or "fag" in a derogatory manner.
It's not the first time an Oscars host has been forced to answer for anti-gay remarks.