After the announcement in December 2018 that Kevin Hart would be hosting the Academy Awards this February, his homophobic tweets bubbled back into the public’s consciousness. Hart stepped down from the gig, non-apologizing like a real pro the whole time.
In a surprising twist, Ellen DeGeneres invited Hart onto her daytime talk show after the ordeal and let him coast right past the whole homophobic nature of his comedy and past tweets. Everyone not cool with letting someone slide after publicly “joking” about smashing their son over the head with a dollhouse for playing with stereotypically feminine toys went after both DeGeneres and Hart.
As Hart’s “I Don’t Need Redemption Because My Career Wasn’t Affected Tour” chugged along, 35-year-old Empire actor Jussie Smollet was the victim of a hate crime in the early morning hours of Tuesday, January 29. An outpouring of support and love came from celebrities, politicians, and fans.
Two of those people sending out their love and shaking their head at the clearly racially charged, homophobic, and vile attack? Hart and DeGeneres; two individuals that publicly made it seem like hateful rhetoric concerning violence in the face of homosexuality wasn’t as powerful as it really is.
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Sending prayers your way @jussiesmollett ….This is unbelievably sad. Why are we going backwards….this is disgusting. We as people have to do better. WTF is going on the world???? Why are we falling in love with hate???? God damn it people….Choose love…I repeat…Choose love. I will forever choose love and I will continue to teach my kids how to do the same. Stand strong brother
After seeing this @benfraserlee tweet, I did a search for every time Kevin Hart tweeted "fag," "homo," or "gay." It was…a lot. And he seems to have basically stopped tweeting those words after 2011 — i.e. the year his first stand-up movie became a hit. https://t.co/P8nTOilFgx pic.twitter.com/6uzPhnvt4F— Adam B. Vary @ Sundance (@adambvary) December 5, 2018
Four years ago, @JussieSmollett came out on my show. I’m sending him and his family so much love today. ❤️— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) January 29, 2019
Twitter is not having it. WORDS HAVE CONSEQUENCES, ESPECIALLY WHEN THEY AMPLIFY HATE.
Given what we’ve seen so far, I fully expect the men who attacked Jussie Smollett to score a sit-down interview with Ellen at some point in the next few weeks. Maybe it will be a roundtable discussion with Kevin Hart.— Saeed Jones (@theferocity) January 29, 2019
Kevin Hart yesterday: "I'm over it. I'm over it. I'm not giving no more explanation of who I am. It's not my dream to be an ally to the LGBTQ community."— hellresidentNY (@hellresidentNY) January 30, 2019
Kevin Hart today: "We as people have to do better. WTF is going on in the world? Why are we falling in love with hate?" pic.twitter.com/ln9COlmIH7
And less than four weeks ago, you sat across from Kevin Hart and said "Don't let those people win.” But “those people” whom you described as “haters” were queer black people hoping that you’d take the relationship between language and violence more seriously. https://t.co/k7uW8xG9gf— Saeed Jones (@theferocity) January 30, 2019
The hate crime that happened today is an attack on us all. Queer people of color need allies, queer people need allies. Kevin Hart so quiet right now. Where are the allies Ellen? Maga hat wearing people need to be checked - we gotta WAKE UP people, it’s going down.— Jonathan Van Ness (@jvn) January 30, 2019
Where’s Kevin Hart and DL Hughley with some more of their little homophobic jokes? Since it’s all just funny and accountability isn’t important.— Preston Mitchum (@PrestonMitchum) January 29, 2019
Fuck Kevin Hart. Fuck Ellen for giving him a platform to double down on his homophobia. Fuck Tariq Nasheed. Fuck people who are transphobic. Fuck all of y’all. Period.— Marsha McLanahan (@NotShahem) January 29, 2019
Kevin Hart: ” Yooooo what happened to Jussie is disgusting.. it makes me sad…. we need to do better”— Prince Nabsico (@MatchmyfreeQ) January 30, 2019
Black Lbgtqia: pic.twitter.com/pGa0aUzr9l
Kevin Hart not understanding why it’s WRONG to say you’ll beat your child for being gay but then offering condolences and confusion at Jussie’s attack is our entire point about people like Kevin Hart— . (@tinnkky) January 30, 2019
If you want to reach out to someone then you have to do the real work. You cannot justify ignorance and then lament it when you see it end in violence. You aren’t allowed to spread evil and then act surprised when it comes to its natural ends.
Joking about something 10 years ago and then truly, fully apologizing for it while proving through actions that you’ve changed your heart and mind is valuable. Joking about the same thing, claiming you no longer feel that way, choosing not to make it right, and then expecting it to have no impact is foolish and dangerous. People can and do change, but those in the spotlight must do more work to undo the harm caused when the bile spreads via fame.
Don’t tweet it or Instagram it. Make a donation to a charity or organization that can make a positive impact to counteract or prevent what happened to Smollett from happening to others. Reach out privately to Smollett and ask what he needs. Don’t attempt to play it both ways and expect people to forget your role in the problem. Prove that you have a place in finding the solution.
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