Comedian Kevin Hart has withdrawn as presenter of the Oscars 2019 after there was upheaval about tweets and comments from a few years ago.

Several messages and comments in Hart’s shows would be homophobic, people who criticized the Academy’s decision to work with Hart. 

The comedian himself announces on Twitter that he will no longer present the show, because he does not want criticism to distract him from the evening. A few hours before that, Hart said that the noise was exaggerated and that it concerned messages from eight or nine years ago.

Hart also apologizes in the tweet to the LGBT community for his comments. “I’m sorry that I’ve hurt people, it’s my goal to bring people together, not to disperse them,” he says in a second tweet. “I want to thank the Academy for this opportunity, hopefully until sometime.”  

When Hart announced that he could present the Oscars, he said he was extremely happy. Presenting the prestigious award show has long been a goal of the comedian.