His decision to step down came as he faced backlash after homophobic tweets he made in 2009 and 2010 resurfaced. Hart said he does "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. I'm sorry that I hurt people. I am evolving and want to continue to do so." He also gave his "love" to the Academy, adding, "I hope we can meet again."
Earlier in the night, Hart posted a video on Instagram saying the Academy asked him to apologize for his tweets, but he refused. "I've addressed it," he said. "I've spoken on 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."