Mother’s Day is over. Father’s Day is coming, so Netflix has dropped a trailer for a star-studded upcoming drama called Fatherhood. But I’m not sharing it with you, because f*ck homophobe Kevin Hart and his attempt to rebrand as a cuddly loving dad, and f*ck him for doing it during Pride Month.
The stand-up comedian, who carved out his reputation with a bombastic personality, made homophobia and gay panic a steady element of his brand. We covered this extensively when he chose to step down from hosting the Oscars instead of apologizing for his history of homophobia. But here are some of the lowlights of his bigotry.
In his 2010 comedy special Seriously Funny, Hart did a bit known as “My Son’s First Gay Moment,” in which he recounts how he knocked his 3-year-old to the ground because he thought the boy was acting gay. It begins with the comedian confessing, “One of my biggest fears is my son growing up and being gay.”
Before that, Hart had made a slew of gay jokes on Twitter. Questioned about the video above in 2015, Hart insisted to Rolling Stone, “I wouldn’t tell that joke today, because when I said it, the times weren’t as sensitive as they are now. I think we love to make big deals out of things that aren’t necessarily big deals, because we can. These things become public spectacles. So why set yourself up for failure?”
So, the issue was not what he said, but that people are too “sensitive” nowadays. From there, Hart moved on to bits about gay panic in 2015’s Get Hard and 2016’s Central Intelligence. Then, came the Oscar scandal of 2018, where the LGBTQIA+ community voiced dismay because proud homophobe Hart would have a massive platform to mock queer movies like The Favourite, Can You Ever Forgive Me?, Boy Erased, Bohemian Rhapsody, Collette, Disobedience and Border. Hart responded by insisting he’d apologized for his bigotry bits before (he hadn’t), then Ellen DeGeneres stepped in to forgive him on behalf of all LGBTQIA+ people, blatantly ignoring her privilege as a very rich white woman.
DeGeneres faced backlash for the interview. Hart faced Don Lemon, who spoke from a personal place as a gay Black man in the public eye. Then, despite all Hart’s proclamations (on social media and talk shows) that he was the victim in all this, he went on to get Kevin Hart: Don’t F**k This Up, a Netflix series about how he handled the consequences of his own actions. Now, he’s got Fatherhood. From the co-writer/co-director of About A Boy Paul Weisz, this drama features Hart as a widowed dad struggling to raise his daughter on his own. Truly, Cancel Culture is out of control.
This brings us to today and why I’m not showing you the trailer, and why Pajiba will not review Fatherhood.
We are not contributing to a rebranding that makes Hart, who made money and jokes at the expense of abusing his child for a “gay moment,” look like a lovable galoot of a dad. Presumably, enough people are watching his other Netflix content that the studio felt confident this would be a good sell. (What a slap in the face to queer-inclusive content like Arlo The Alligator Boy and The Mitchells vs. The Machines!) Likely, Netflix is targeting a June release to tie-in to Father’s Day feel-good needs. However, June is also Pride Month. So, double nope. We’ll not be promoting the work of a callous homophobe, who after ALL of the above tried to downplay Lil Nas X’s importance to queer representation in the Black community, during a month meant to celebrate those he built a brand on despising.
June can be a hard month for LGBQTIA+ people, because many of us have faced cruelty, ostracization, and abuse from our families over LGBQTIA+ status. So, the irony that Fatherhood has Hart playing a man raising a child without a mother stings all the harder. For decades, homophobes have readily ranted that gay parents shouldn’t be allowed to raise kids because of bigots’ idealized heteronormative vision of a nuclear family being: Man, wife, babies. Yet here comes Hart as a single dad raising a daughter, but it’s cool and heartwarming because the character is straight. God forbid, the dad in Fatherhood might have been a gay man who unexpectedly lost a male partner around their child’s birth. Of course, it’s doubtful Hart would have signed on for such a part, and he’d previously turned down the role of Alpa Chino in Tropic Thunder because the character was gay.
In short, it’s a hard pass from us on Hart’s views of good fatherhood.