Kevin Hart gave up the Oscar hosting job so he wouldn’t have to apologize for a slew of homophobic remarks. It was one of the biggest entertainment stories of the week, so naturally, Saturday Night Live weighed in. And of course, Michael Che defended Hart with a string of bad arguments.
Che suggests it’s hypocritical that Hart had to step down when just last year garbage person Mel Gibson was nominated for an Oscar. First off, he was nominated 2 years ago, for Hacksaw Ridge. Second, people were rightly outraged about that too! Just because Che doesn’t have the inclination to Google any actual background on this, doesn’t mean he has a valid argument.
Che goes onto say, “If Kevin Hart isn’t clean enough to host the Oscars, then NO black comic is.” Clean. Kevin Hart did a bit about gay bashing his own son. In 2010. Not, like, 1950. It was never just about the tweets. Complaints about all of this is not new. It’s just that there were actually consequences this time.
That’s not “clean.” That’s homophobic. That’s making a joke about assaulting your son over the fear that he is gay. It is a literal definition of homophobia. But long-time Pajiba readers won’t be shocked that Che has no qualms with this. Dude is all about toxic masculinity.
And THEN Che goes on to say, “The only black comic I know that’s cleaner than Kevin Hart is booked for the next three to ten years.” Cosby. See, it’s funny because Bill Cosby made jokes about “Spanish Fly” and was convicted of drugging and raping women. Wait. Is that funny? Is that joke clean? Maybe Che can come back to our comments section to explain himself.
Meanwhile, Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Kyler Murray showed how gracefully Hart could have handled this controversy when he had one of his own. After he won the Heisman Trophy, homophobic tweets were unearthed, which dated back to when the football star was 14 and 15 years old. They’ve now been deleted, and Murray issued an apology on Twitter:
I apologize for the tweets that have come to light tonight from when I was 14 and 15. I used a poor choice of word that doesn’t reflect who I am or what I believe. I did not intend to single out any individual or group.— Kyler Murray (@TheKylerMurray) December 9, 2018
Addressing a similar matter, stand-up comic turned Eighth Grade director Bo Burnham gave an interview in which he talked about confronting regretable jokes he made at the start of his career.
Speaking of his earliest Youtube videos that date back to when he was 16, Burnham says:
Some of them are embarrassing. Some of them are a 2006 16-year-old trying to be edgy. It’s a little homophobic. It’s a little racially insensitive. And I’m happy to be an example of someone that failed out loud, publicly, in a certain way, and was able to evolve and get past that. I do worry that kids don’t have that freedom anymore.
This interview is from last month, before the Hart controversy. So, Burnham was talking about being a role model to children broadcasting on Youtube who are saying hurtful things they don’t really understand. He was showing faith that like him, they can recognize these wrongs and grow from them. Hart’s defenders say we should respond to him with the same forgiveness we might extend to Murray or Burnham, even though they 1) showed regret, growth, and/or apologized for their insensitive comments, and 2) WERE LITERAL CHILDREN WHEN THEY MADE THEM.
Hart was 31 in 2010. He was grown. He knew what he was saying was homophobic, which is why he lampshades it in the act by saying he’s not. He stopped making these jokes when his movie career started to take off, so basically when he had to appeal to a broader audience than his base. In movies, he toned down the homophobic schtick to more socially acceptable gay panic gags, where any male-on-male affection or any male character doing something not markedly masculine causes him to twitch and sputter. Then, regarding this controversy, Hart’s insistence that this whole thing is about tweets and trolls suggests that for all his talk of growing since then, he hasn’t. He’s still trying to convince you that he’s speaking truth to power, and the power is the marginalized LGBTQA+ community who supposedly bullied a family man out of a job.
Che and Hart act like the comedian was owed the Oscars gig because he is successful. But that stage belongs to more than him. It belongs to all of those who watch the Academy Awards every year. And a lot of LGBTQA+ people do! The Oscars are lovingly called the gay Super Bowl for this very reason! So, it was bizarre that the Academy hired a comic who made homophobia a part of his brand. It’s insane that they did so with no apparent plan of how to deal with those tweets, interview remarks, and video from his Seriously Funny tour when they inevitably came up. (It’s very easy to google “Kevin Hart homophobic.”) And it’s deeply disappointing that Hart didn’t take this as a moment to prove he had grown. Instead, he gave lip service to positivity while defending his homophobic remarks, only to issue an inexplicable apology after it was too late to save his job or his reputation.
There’s an insistence by those who defend Hart, that people (raging liberals) are setting standards so high no one can live by them. Look, a lot of people have said homophobic things in their past. A lot of those people may regret them now. And if they do, they can say so. It’s really not hard to say, “I screwed up, and I’m sorry.” An apology is often the first step to growth. But Hart never apologized before this scandal. Yet he insisted we take his word that he’d changed, without showing any signs that he’d learned anything except not to tweet “fag” because it’s bad for your PR. But hey, upside, he’s found some new friends.
The attacks on @KevinHart4real are ridiculous but it’s interesting to watch this culture of overly sensitive crybabies eat their own with their PC BS. Hollywood Libs might change their tune when this whole thing blows up in their face!— Tomi Lahren (@TomiLahren) December 7, 2018
Header Image Source: NBC