Kevin Hart statue clutching rainbow flag appears near oscars venue

At the base of the statue reads the phrase 'Hollow apology'

Katie O'Malley
Monday 25 February 2019 00:50
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A statue resembling comedian Kevin Hart holding a rainbow flag has been erected near the Oscars venue months after he was accused of homophobia.

In December 2019, Hart announced he had been chosen to host the event but later turned down the role following the controversy.

Ahead of the 91st Academy Awards, a gold-coloured, life-sized statue of the US television personality has appeared near its venue at the Dolby Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles, California.

In the statue’s right hand stands a rainbow flag, which appears to have been placed in reference to Hart’s apology to the LGBT community after tweets resurfaced from nearly a decade ago, which included homophobic remarks and anti-gay slurs by the comedian.

At the base of the statue reads the phrase “Hollow apology”.

The artist behind the statue remains unknown. However, Los Angeles-based street artists Plastic Jesus posted several images and videos of the statue on Sunday morning.

Announcing his appointment as host of this year's Oscars, the comedian wrote in a post on Instagra: “For years I have been asked if I would ever host the Oscars and my answer was always the same.

“I said that it would be the opportunity of a lifetime for me as a comedian and that it will happen when it’s supposed to. I am so happy to say that the day has finally come for me to host the Oscars.”

Hours later, however, Twitter users shared several tweets the 39-year-old had written in the past which caused offence among the LGBT community.

Despite initially refusing to apologise for his previous remarks and voicing his frustration of the controversy on social media, he later revealed he had turned down his hosting role and apologised to anyone he may have offended.

"I have made the choice to step down from hosting this year's Oscar's," Hart wrote on Twitter.

"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."

"I'm sorry that I hurt people," he added in another tweet.

"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."

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