Unless you’re a news-a-phobic, then there’s little doubt that you’ve heard about comedian Kevin Hart’s derogatory, homophobic Tweets that have resurfaced from almost a decade ago. This came just days after the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences confirmed that the 39-year-old was announced as the host for this year’s Oscars.
One of the Tweets, which has since been deleted from Kevin Hart’s Twitter profile, 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”.
Initially, Hart refused to apologise, stating in a video posted on his Instagram that he ‘chose to pass on the apology’. In the video posted on Thursday, he said: “I’ve addressed this several times… I’ve said where the rights and wrongs were. I’ve said who I am now versus who I was then. I’ve done it. I’m not going to continue to go back. We feed on Internet trolls and we reward them. I’m not going to do it. I’m going to stand my ground.”
Referring to a call from the Academy asking Hart to apologise, the comedian said: “Regardless Academy, I’m thankful for the opportunity. If it goes away, no harm, no foul.”
And for Hart, today, the Oscars opportunity has now ‘gone away’. Posting on his Twitter account just nine hours ago, the comedian said: “I have made the choice to step down from hosting this year’s Oscar’s….this is because I do not want to be a distraction on a night that should be celebrated by so many amazing talented artists.”
I'm sorry that I hurt people.. I am evolving and want to continue to do so. My goal is to bring people together not tear us apart. Much love & appreciation to the Academy. I hope we can meet again.— Kevin Hart (@KevinHart4real) December 7, 2018
And finally, and what is deemed as ‘a little too late’ by many, the American star apologised to his 34.6 million followers: ‘I sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past.’
So how do members of the LGBTQ+ community feel about the comments that Kevin Hart made? And do they think that stepping down from his role as host for the Oscars is an appropriate punishment – and is it even enough?
Speaking exclusively to Marjon, LGBTQ+ member, Shannon Brown, expressed that a simple apology ‘just isn’t enough’. She says: “He’s refusing to apologise on the grounds that ‘it’s just a joke’, but for so many people it’s not a joke… it’s their real lives.
“Kids get beaten and murdered for displaying gay stereotype characteristics, even if they’re not gay — it’s that bad”.
Referring to Hart’s apology, she says: “I think that if people are genuinely sorry for things that they’ve said in the past then yes, they should be forgiven and move on. But if the only reason that they wouldn’t say anything now is because ‘everyone’s so sensitive nowadays’, then no, get him off the Oscars!’
Chad Griffin, the head of an LGBT civil rights advocacy group called the Human Rights Campaign, also responded to Hart’s comments, saying on Twitter: “You have a rare opportunity to take responsibility, teach people in this moment, & send a message to LGBTQ+ youth that they matter & deserve dignity & respect. You say you’ve grown. Show us. Make amends for hurtful things you’ve said & affirm LGBTQ people,”
Do you think that Hart’s apology is acceptable? Do you think that stepping down from role as host for the Oscar’s is enough – or is it too much? Do you agree or disagree with the backlash that Hart has received? Tweet us at @JaM_at_Marjon – we’d love to know what you think on this matter.
“He’s refusing on the grounds that ‘it’s just a joke’. But for so many people, it’s not a joke… it’s actually their real lives”
Dana, he apologized in 2009 when he said this. Just because it lives forever on the internet doesn’t mean he should have to apologize over and over. I don’t think @KevinHart4real is the same person he was in 2009, I know I’m not. We all change and grow.— beth peralta-reed (@lovebethers) December 7, 2018