Kevin Hart says he has stepped down as Oscars host following an outcry over previous anti-gay tweets by the comedian.

Hart posted on Twitter today an apology to the LGBTQ community for his past words.

He said he stepped down so as not to be a distraction on a night that should be celebrated by so many amazing talented artists.

Earlier, the backlash against Hart over his past homophobic tweets took a sensational turn.


In a video rant posted to Instagram Hart, who in Sydney for a series of shows, said he refused to say sorry despite receiving an ultimatum from Oscars bosses.

"I just got a call from the Academy and that call basically said, 'Kevin, apologize for your tweets of old or we're going to have to move on and find another host.' I'm talking about the tweets from 2009 and 2010," he said.

"I chose to pass on the apology. The reason why I passed is because I've addressed this several times. This is not the first time this has come up. I've addressed it. I've spoken on it. I've said where the rights and wrongs were.

"I've said who I am now versus who I was then. 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."

The announcement of Hart as this year's Oscars host earlier this week sparked an angry backlash after homophobic comments from the comedian resurfaced online.

After Hart was announced as next year's Oscars host the comedian began deleting anti-gay posts from his Twitter, Buzzfeed reported.

But several of the tweets were screenshot by Twitter users like journalist Benjamin Lee and spread online, sparking an angry reaction.

The Guardian also reported that Hart had made similar anti-gay comments in his comedy routines, with the performer telling an audience in 2010: "One of my biggest fears is my son growing up and being gay".

Hart soon responded to the controversy in a video posted to Instagram but didn't apologise for the tweets.

"The team calls me, 'oh my god Kevin the world is upset about tweets you did years ago,' oh my god," Hart said, rubbing his eyes in frustration.

"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 their past then do you, I'm the wrong guy man. I'm in a great place, a great mature place where all I do is spread positivity. If you're not doing that, get out of my page."

It's not the first time the Oscars have come under fire over its show entertainment, with Brett Ratner resigning from his role as the ceremony's producer in 2011.

The Hollywood producer faced a backlash after a video went viral of him saying "rehearsing is for fags" while promoting his 2011 film Tower Heist.