Kevin Hart: “I have made the choice to step down from hosting this year’s Oscars. I sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from the past. I’m sorry that I hurt people.”

Earlier: Hart’s hours-old Instagram post (and corresponding video clip) is an attempt to persuade everyone to cut him some slack regarding the clearly homophobic tweets that he posted seven or eight years ago. He’s claiming that on the brink of his 40th birthday he’s “in love with the man that I am becoming” and that “you live and you LEARN & you GROW & YOU MATURE…I love EVERYBODY, once again EVERYBODY.” So please let it go, he’s basically saying, and accept that he’s no longer the homophobic guy he was in his early 30s.

Deadline‘s Mike Fleming has written that Hart “might get the benefit of the doubt but only if he stands up and takes responsibility for the hurtful things he has written. Or at least explains himself more fully.” But what could Hart say in a follow-up other than an expanded replay of this afternoon’s Instagram, which is that the hurtful tweets were then & “I love EVERYBODY” is now? Right now the conversation seems to be tilting against Hart but who knows? I know the news about Hart landing the Oscar host gig broke faster than anticipated, but you’d think that vetting his tweets and stand-up material would have been a top priority during the discussion phase. How is this likely to shake out?