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Kevin Hart stepped down as Oscars host following social media backlash after his homophobic tweets from 2011 resurfaced.
USA TODAY

Be careful what you tweet. 

The latest cautionary tale is comedian Kevin Hart, who stepped down as host of the Oscars on Thursday after past tweets from 2011 resurfaced and he was slammed for being homophobic.

But he’s not the only star who has had past 140-character quips come back to haunt him.

Stars like “Guardians of the Galaxy” director James Gunn and singer Blake Shelton have faced similar controversy and been forced to offer a public mea culpa.

These incidents often follow a similar formula. For the most part, the old tweets tend to resurface when a shiny new gig is announced for the star. In Hart’s case, the tweets found their way into the spotlight in the wake of his Tuesday announcement that he’d be hosting the 91st Academy Awards on Feb. 24.

Here’s a look at some other stars who have been hurt by their past tweets.

James Gunn

Old tweets cost director James Gunn, second left, the helm of the third “Guardians of the Galaxy” film. (Photo: CHRISTOPHER JUE, EPA)

The liberal “Guardians of the Galaxy” director became the subject of controversy after he defended fellow liberal star Mark Duplass for standing up for commentator Ben Shapiro. In June, Gunn wrote: “Maybe you disagree with Mark Duplass, which is completely fair (personally I think even Ben Shapiro’s mother should unfollow him). But that doesn’t make Duplass’ point-of-view evil.”

Conservative critics then dug up old tweets from Gunn that included jokes about rape and pedophilia. One deleted-tweet reportedly read: “I like when little boys touch me in my silly place.”

The tweets and ensuing backlash led Disney to fire Gunn from the upcoming “Guardians of the Galaxy 3.” His cast, including star Chris Pratt, wrote a letter defending Gunn, and the director apologized, calling his past tweets “totally failed and unfortunate efforts to be provocative.” Still, it wasn’t enough to earn him his job back and his deal with Disney was done.

Blake Shelton 

In 2016, country star Blake Shelton had to apologize for a five-year-old joke about actresses Dakota Fanning and Amanda Seyfried. (Photo: Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

When Shelton was awarded the title of People’s Sexiest Man Alive in 2017, some Twitter users took the opportunity to point to past tweets from the country singer that were far from PC.

The tweets, which first made the rounds in 2016 and elicited an apology from “The Voice” star, included messages many deemed sexist and racist. One tweet, dating back to 2011, read: “So I just figured out a great excuse for my sick fantasy about Dakota Fanning. I thought she was Amanda Seyfried.” 

Shelton issued an apology when some fans first pointed out the since-deleted tweets. 

He stated via Twitter, “Everyone knows comedy has been a major part of my career and it’s always been out there for anyone to see. That said anyone that knows me also knows I have no tolerance of hate of any kind or form.

“Can my humor at times be inappropriate and immature? Yes. Hateful? Never. That said I deeply apologize to anybody who may have been offended.”

Trevor Noah

An old tweet could have sunk Trevor Noah’s “Daily Show” gig before it even began. (Photo: Jeff Schear, Getty Images for Co, Jeff Schear, Getty Images for Co)

When the South African comic was announced as the new host of “The Daily Show” host back in 2015, he was celebrated at first. And then the Twitterverse found his past tweets. Some were labeled anti-Semitic and anti-Israel, causing serious backlash for the star.

One 2014 tweet read: “Almost bumped a Jewish kid crossing the road. He didn’t look b4 crossing but I still would hav felt so bad in my german car!”

The messages called his “Daily Show” gig into question, but Comedy Central stood by its new star. 

The network stated at the time, “Like many comedians, Trevor Noah pushes boundaries; he is provocative and spares no one, himself included. To judge him or his comedy based on a handful of jokes is unfair.”

Iggy Azalea 

Iggy Azalea had to cancel a 2015 show after LGBTQ groups called her out for old tweets. (Photo: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin, FilmMagic)

In 2015, rapper Iggy Azalea was forced to drop out of a Pittsburgh Pride event after several LGBTQ groups called her performance into question, citing past tweets that were deemed racist and homophobic.

One past tweeted reportedly read: “This Asian lady on the plane tried to act like she didn’t understand me I told her (expletive) u gone know English today cause that’s my seat!”

Her cancellation came after groups planned to protest her performance. 

She apologized for her past statements via Twitter (of course). 

“I meant no harm and deeply regret ever uttering those words,” she wrote at the time. She explained she was dropping out of the event as to not be a distraction to the cause. 

More: Kevin Hart steps down as Oscars host amid backlash from past homophobic tweets

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