Comedian Kevin Hart is out as ABC’s Oscar host due to homophobic tweets made in 2009 and 2011. Hart refused to apologize as a condition for perhaps being allowed to host the annual Hollywood self-celebration, and then posted what seems like a semi-apology.
One of the controversial tweets from 2011 read: “Yo if my son comes home & try’s 2 play with my daughters doll house I’m going 2 break it over his head & say n my voice ‘stop that’s gay’.”
In a 2015 profile for Rolling Stone, he once said one of his “biggest fears is my son growing up and being gay.”
“Keep in mind, I’m not homophobic… Be happy. Do what you want to do. But me, as a heterosexual male, if I can prevent my son from being gay, I will,” he previously explained.
Another Twitter user went to the great lengths of searching every time Kevin used the words “Fag,” “homo” or “gay.” They realized the comedian “seems to have basically stopped tweeting those words after 2011 — i.e. the year his first stand-up movie became a hit.”
As CNN reported, after withdrawing from the Oscars, Hart posted an Instagram video in which he said:
“Guys, I’m almost 40 years old. … If you don’t believe people change, grow, evolve as they get older, I don’t know what to tell you. If you want to hold people in a position where they always have to justify or explain their past then do you. I’m the wrong guy, man.”
Hart’s statement unleashed further controversy over whether this met the demands of a ritual apology, and the consensus was that it did not.
The tweets from years past were homophobic and hateful, but Hollywood seems to offer a pass for past homophobia to those who are otherwise active social justice warriors and Democrats in good standing. Also, the issue of homophobia being more acute in the African-American community, perhaps especially among black men, is one about which honest discussion is not allowed (in 2008, when the anti-gay-marriage Prop 8 passed in California, those who pointed out that African-Americans voted overwhelmingly for Obama and for Prop. 8 where denounced for their racism).
“If Kevin Hart isn’t clean enough to host the Oscars then no black comic is” https://t.co/pUrlK2ZbIF
— Vulture (@vulture) December 9, 2018
Forgive @KevinHart4real for no knowing the rules. After all, @JoyAnnReid made anti gay comments on her old blog. First, she apologized, then said–wait–she’d been hacked and hadn’t written the slams!; then said, ok, she wrote them–apologized again. And she has a show on @MSNBC!
— Larry Elder (@larryelder) December 9, 2018
More. Another day, another black guy who has to apologize: Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray apologizes for anti-gay tweets. Is this helping or hurting black support for lesbian and gay equality and inclusion?