Yes it’s 2019, but best believe the drama of Kevin Hart getting cancelled at the Oscars isn’t over just yet. Golden Globes hosts Andy Samberg and Sandra Oh even took a jab at him at the just-concluded awards night. But the biggest reminder came from Kevin himself, with the help of Ellen DeGeneres, when he appeared on her show. Yeah, I get why this seems like a great PR idea. To be able to get an endorsement from Ellen, a recognized LGBT icon, that surely means something. But he effectively blew his chance at redemption when, instead of stressing how sorry he is, and talking about the positive changes he’s made moving forward, he instead spent the majority of his time painting himself as the victim in all this.
“The next morning, after a day full of congratulations and celebrations, I’m hit with an onslaught on social media of my past coming back up again. Literally the next morning. Not even a full 24 hours to glow in the glory of ‘Kevin Hart is hosting this year’s Oscars,” he said. He further tried to convince Ellen that the fact that someone deliberately went through his 40k tweets just to find something malicious, obviously meant someone’s out to defame him. “That’s a malicious attack on my character. That’s an attack to end me. This was to end all partnerships, all brand relationships, all investment opportunities, studio relationships, my production company and the people who work underneath me. This was to damage the lives that had invested in me. It’s bigger than just the Oscars.”
That last part, I can agree with. This is obviously bigger than the Oscars. But it’s bigger than Kevin, too—something the comedian seems to have trouble understanding. Fact is, whether his speculations that someone was out to personally get him are true, was besides the point. What he said then was wrong and deeply upsetting, and instead of fully acknowledging them, he acts like a child having a tantrum (he said he already apologized for them 10 years ago, though the Internet have yet to find a receipt.) And though it’s true people are capable of change, his apologies just seem off and forced, and the public can see it.
Netizens were not only turned off by Kevin’s actions. They were also disappointed in Ellen for referring to his critics as “haters.” She told him, “There are so many haters out there. Whatever is going on on the Internet, don’t pay attention.” Adding that, “That’s a small group of people being very, very loud. We’re a big group of people who love you and want you to host the Oscars.”
Like Billboard wrote, “She’s right: The LGBTQ community is a minority group. And historically, they’ve been very loud in the face of injustice. But to reduce them to ‘haters’ is, at best ignorant, and dangerous at worst. And in blaming the critics, they never address the real problem: Why do his old tweets follow him around like a ghost from the past?”
CNN Tonight host Don Lemon—a member of the LGBT and black community—might have answered it best. “For many in the gay and black community, the Twitter apologies or explanations are falling flat,” Don said, while further stating that they seem “insincere and that he has somehow turned himself into a victim instead of acknowledging the real victims of violent and sometimes deadly homophobia.” The reporter also highlighted this important truth: “Someone like Kevin Hart, with one of the biggest megaphones in the world, can be a leader, the ultimate change agent.” Finally, he imparted this sound advise to the actor: “We need to talk about how people who’ve messed up can become allies as well. Because apologizing and moving on does not make the world a better place for people who are gay or transgender—being an ally does.”
Sadly, It seems Kevin Hart still doesn’t get it and took this as yet another attack on him. He made an indirect reply to that through an Instagram post in which he made it a point to highlight that “we all learn, then we all have the ability to grow,” yet didn’t address the journalist’s invitation to be an ally of the LGBTQ community.
I was honestly a fan of Kevin Hart prior to all of this, but he needs to get his act together. Like Billboard wrote, “If Hart wants to move on without constant backlash, he needs to prioritize clearing the air in a genuine way.” So until he’s finally ready to give the LGBTQ community the sincere apology they deserve, he’s a no for me.