Motion Picture Academy was BLINDSIDED by Kevin Hart quitting over homophobic tweets

Billy Eichner Guy Branum

Kevin Hart Quits Oscars Hosting Gig Over Anti-Gay Past

Sources told Variety that the Academy was "blindsided" by Hart's abrupt exit last Thursday and the Board of Governors is now "freaking out" over the fact that they're back to square one.

In this December 10, 2018 photo, Nick Cannon poses for a portrait in NY to promote promoting his new show, "The Masked Singer".

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Il semble pourtant impossible d'oublier. "Savoir ce que représente ce maillot, et prendre cette décision, c'est non. Je ne fais pas une fixation, ce n'est pas une punition. "J'étais bien obligé d'accepter sa décision".

"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 wonderful talented artists", Hart wrote in a tweet posted late Thursday night. Hart contended he'd already addressed those tweets and they no longer represented his views. "They asked like 14 people, and they all said no, and then there was me", told radio station KROQ a year ago. He added that organizers should have done their research before offering Hart the gig. The sources told TMZ that the Academy views the position of the host as the career opportunity of a lifetime and doesn't want to sell it out for money, rendering the payment rather symbolic. "Encouraging people to grow & reconsider views is ~always preferable to punishment", Guy rightly tweeted on Friday. Reportedly among those who turned down the proposal to host the show are Oprah Winfrey, Jerry Seinfeld and Justin Timberlake.

ABC and the Academy did not return requests for comment on their search for a new host. Although the social media backlash against Hart was swift because of his lack of remorse or an apology, he has had some support from his fellow comedians. "I passed on the apology", said Hart. "I think it's a dumb idea because people need you to take them through things and take care of things when they happen".

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Hart stepped down as host in response to public outrage over years-old tweets that contained homophobic references.

However, two top comedy agents, who spoke to the publication ahead of an emergency Academy board meeting to come up with a plan, said one option now being explored is to go completely host-free.

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