Comedian and movie star Kevin Hart made the decision to remove himself as a “distraction” and step down from his invitation to host the Oscars in December amid heightened controversy pertaining to the stand-up’s past comments about homosexuality. Appearing on the “Joe Rogan Experience” podcast over the weekend, Hart opened up about the firestorm, the insincere persistence of the so-called “outrage mob,” and why he refuses to become an “ally” of the LGBTQ community.
Hart explained to Rogan that the controversy last year stunned him, as he’s worked his whole career to stay away from “anything divisive.”
“I don’t joke in the politics, I don’t joke in anything that has to do with the slander of others or other communities — I don’t do anything divisive. That’s my biggest thing,” he said. “This past year was one that got a little weird. I was like, I really dedicated myself to bringing people together. I thought that was my goal. That’s my priority. I damn sure thought that was what I was doing, on a global scale. Everybody — all races, shapes, sizes, whoever you are, whatever you are — you can come to a Kevin Hart show and have a good time. So when it came out that I was a person that was divisive, that was tough.”
“Your’e talking about the Oscars,” Rogan clarified. “Well, this is a time that people are just looking to be upset about stuff,” the host continued. “They’re not looking at you as a human being … Think about how positive you are, and they are concentrating on some jokes you did, what, nine years ago?”
The comedian recalled his genuine apologies falling on deaf ears of the outrage mob, so he decided to just stop talking about the controversy and remove himself from hosting the Oscars.
“They’re never happy,” interjected Rogan, to which Hart responded: “It just became the constant conversation.”
It got to the point that Hart realized “this is no longer a conversation,” he said. “So, guys, I’m gonna stop talking about it. … I’ve shown that I’m not hateful .. and that I’m genuinely sorry, and it just never stopped.”
Rogan applauded Hart for the wise decision, noting that “there’s nothing else you can do” to appease the critics.
“Nothing,” Hart agreed. “Nothing.”
The “Jumanji” star also discussed the pressure he felt to become an “ally” for the LGBTQ community in the wake of the resurfaced tweets. Hart essentially said such action would be insincere, that it was not his place to do such a thing because their plight was foreign to him; instead, he said that becoming informed was far more powerful.
Hart recalled “Empire” creator Lee Daniels telling him to “step up and be a voice” for the gay community. “And I said, Lee, I understand what your’e saying. But why did you expect me to know what’s been happening within this community in regard to hate and crimes. I’m just not aware. Some people can just not be aware.”
“When you tell me this information, I’m now educated and I understand. So, it’s easy to simply inform. Information is key,” Hart continued.
The comedian added, “When this happened, it was ‘become an ally, become a voice.’ And that’s where there was just a miscommunication.”
“It was becoming tabloid bullsh**, as opposed to a real discussion,” Rogan said.
“Yes,” Hart agreed. “Click bait. Click bait.”
After tweets deemed insensitive to the LGBTQ community resurfaced online, once again, Hart said on social media that the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences “had contacted him and said he either had to apologize for the past tweets, posted between 2009 and 2011, or they’re ‘going to have to move on and find another host,'” reported The Daily Wire in December.
“I chose to pass. I passed on the apology,” said the comedian at the time. “The reason why I passed is because I’ve addressed this several times. This is not the first time this has come up. I’ve addressed it. I’ve spoken on it. 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’ve done it. I’m not going to continue to go back and tap into the days of old when I moved on. I’m in a completely different space in my life.”