Movies & TV / Columns

Did Kevin Hart Need to Step Down From Hosting the Oscars?

December 8, 2018 | Posted by Steve Gustafson
Kevin Hart

What a wild ride actor and comedian Kevin Hart’s Oscar adventure has been. Hart announced Friday that he had stepped down from hosting the 2019 Academy Awards amid backlash over homophobic social media comments and jokes.

“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,” Hart wrote on Twitter. “I sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past.”

That came on the back of him posting an hour earlier that he had gotten a call from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences asking him to apologize, with him refusing to do so. “So, I just got a call from the Academy, and that call basically said, ‘Kevin, apologize for your tweets of old or we’re going to have to move on and find another host,’” Hart said in a video posted to Instagram. “I chose to pass, I passed on the apology. The reason why I passed is because I’ve addressed this several times.”

“I’m not going to continue to go back and tap into the days of old when I moved on, and I’m in a completely different space in my life,” Hart said. “I’m going to be me; I’m going to stand my ground. Regardless, Academy, I’m thankful and appreciative of the opportunity. If that goes away, no harm, no foul.”

The internet has been split between support for the actor while others say his refusal/apology was lacking.

The situation has many asking, “Where is the line going to be drawn?”

Hart addressed criticism and the outcry in a separate video earlier in day saying they need to “take your negative energy” somewhere else. “Stop looking for reasons to be negative…Stop searching for reasons to be angry,” Hart continued. He made it clear he had moved on saying “Guys, I’m almost 40 years old. if you don’t believe that people change, grow, evolve as people get older, I don’t know what to tell you.”

What were some of the comments that Hart made to create this situation? Hart deleted many of the messages, including a 2011 tweet in which he wrote that, were his son to play with his daughter’s dollhouse, Hart would “break it over his head & say n my voice ‘stop that’s gay.'” Soon after people on the internet went on to dig up several more crude and cruel statements from his Twitter feed, some of which included terms like “FAT F*G” and jokes about AIDS.

Let’s take a look at some learning moments.

Were Hart’s comments stupid and ignorant? Yes. As a comedian, you walk a minefield these days. While most jokes aren’t made to be hateful, it doesn’t take a stretch for someone to be offended. The intent is lost and no effort is made to look at who’s making the joke and the circumstances they grew up in to deliver said joke.

That doesn’t take away from the feelings of others but, and here’s the learning moment, Hart could have saved this situation by giving a sincere apology for the comments, expressed how he’s matured, give some examples, and then lay low till it blows over. I believe the Academy would have gone along with that and I’m sure a generous donation to specific organizations would have cleared the path to hosting the Oscars.

By going back online, showing defiance and a refusal to apologize, guaranteed his downfall.

No one is perfect. Things are said and the internet never forgets. Even those attacking Hart today might find themselves on the other side down the road.

What do you think of the Hart situation?