Don Lemon of CNN is upset over the fact that comedian Kevin Hart refuses to join his herd of card-carrying activists and become an LGBT ally.
As 2018 came to a close, Kevin Hart pulled out of hosting the upcoming Oscars show over old jokes he made several years ago that some members of the LGBT community found offensive. Recently, Don Lemon called upon Kevin Hart to speak with him about productive ways he can make inroads to the LGBT community. Apparently, the two shared an hour-long off-the-record conversation over the weekend; Lemon seemed none too happy with the results. The CNN host said:
I’m not coming for Kevin, OK? This is just...we’re trying to learn and have a dialogue and a conversation here because when talking about this story on this program, I asked Kevin to reach out to me. And guess what, over the weekend he did. He called me. We spoke at length, we spoke for over an hour. And then we talked after that and we texted and whatever. But it was mostly an off-the-record conversation because I wanted him to be honest with me and I just, I just wanted us to talk to each other and to listen.
While the conversation took place off-the-record, Lemon noted that Hart agreed he could speak in "generalities" about the "overall tone" of their conversation.
The CNN host acknowledged first that Kevin Hart has given a sincere apology for his past jokes, however, Lemon took issue a segment from the comedian's Sirius XM radio show recently where he publicly refused Don Lemon's request to become an LGBT ally.
"I don’t like the forcing… Don Lemon goes on CNN and he’s like ‘You can fix this, become an ally.’ That’s not my...it’s not my life dream," Hart said. "I’m now moving on from this because I’m just hoping that the apology is accepted. If it’s chosen not to be accepted, I can’t control that."
Lemon agreed that Hart has a right not to be an ally of the LGBT community before going on to paint him as a hypocrite for demanding acceptance in that position.
"If he doesn’t want to be an ally, if he doesn’t want to be a spokesman for the gay community, he does not have to do that. It’s his choice as an American," Lemon stated. "On some level, you could understand for him that it may feel like he’s under attack, right? Because he’s in the middle of it. But I will tell you from me, as I relate to him and I can tell my part, he’s not a victim."
Lemon continued: "So listen to what he’s saying there. He wants to be accepted, he wants us to accept him, he wants to be embraced on his own merits… isn’t that what the LGBT community wants? Isn’t that the same thing that they were asking for? To be embraced on their own merits and not be stereotyped and stigmatized?"
To sum Lemon's position up, he asserts that the LGBT community should bully anyone with a megaphone into becoming an ally, otherwise it's tantamount to hypocrisy, which only public shame and heckling can cure.
"So maybe he now knows just a little bit, just a little bit more of what that feels like even if it’s misguided or however you feel about it, now he knows just a little bit how it feels like," Lemon said. "The LGBT community, which I am a part of, can and should hold people with large megaphones to account… but if we don’t want to be bullied, we can’t be bullies. We don’t want to turn into what you’re fighting against. So hold them to account, call them out, but you don’t want to bully people."
Lemon again offered Hart a chance to come on his show. "Maybe you’re scared, Kevin. Are you scared of me? Don’t be scared. C’mon, I’m not going to be mean!"
The CNN host's statements regarding Kevin Hart stand in sharp contrast with Ellen Degeneres, who publicly defended the comedian during an interview on her show recently and made no Draconian demands for him to become an LGBT ally.