Issa Pattern: Kevin Hart Has A Real Problem With Accountability

December 6, 2018  |  
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'The Upside' Screening And Conversation With Kevin Hart

Source: Daniel Zuchnik / Getty

Earlier this week, comedian Kevin Hart announced that he would be hosting the 2019 Academy Awards.

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For years I have been asked if I would ever Host the Oscars and my answer was always the same…I said that it would be the opportunity of a lifetime for me as a comedian and that it will happen when it’s suppose to. I am so happy to say that the day has finally come for me to host the Oscars. I am blown away simply because this has been a goal on my list for a long time….To be able to join the legendary list of host that have graced that stage is unbelievable. I know my mom is smiling from ear to ear right now. I want to thank my family/friends/fans for supporting me & riding with me all this time….I will be sure to make this years Oscars a special one. I appreciate the @TheAcademy for the opportunity ….now it’s time to rise to the occasion #Oscars

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I saw the news, thought “good for him” and kept it moving. But I didn’t realize that this announcement was going to present so much of an issue. And not the usual arguments of people debating whether or not Hart is funny. No, the news of his hosting became such a problem when folks started digging through his old tweets.

That’s when they found more than a few instances of some very homophobic language, including the repeated use of the f word and gay used in the pejorative.  The one that is being shared the most reads as follows:

“Yo if my son comes home & try’s [sic] 2 play with my daughters [sic] doll house I’m going 2 break it over his head & say n my voice “stop that’s gay”

Not only is this incredibly ignorant and homophobic, it’s also far from funny. But it was just one of several instances that painted a clear picture of Hart’s attitude toward homosexuality.

You can see some other examples on the next page.

If you thought Hart was embarrassed by the jokes or regretted it, you thought wrong. He doubled down on the sentiment in his comedy special, Seriously Funny.

“One of my biggest fears is my son growing up and being gay,” Hart said in the special. “That’s a fear. Keep in mind, I’m not homophobic....Be happy. Do what you want to do. But me, as a heterosexual male, if I can prevent my son from being gay, I will.”

Years later, when a journalist for Rolling Stone asked him if he stood by that joke and would tell it again, Hart didn’t exactly say no. But that people are too sensitive nowadays.

“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?”

Kevin Hart knew this in 2015. So it’s interesting that with the celebrities we’ve watched fall for their old opinions and problematic postings, why Hart didn’t decide to delete these homophobic, slander containing tweets before he was set to take this big, White, mainstream stage? It’s not smart.

But then again, this is not the first time Hart’s words and actions have gotten him into trouble. Just last week, we shared his tone-deaf reaction to the backlash for his son Kenzo’s “Cowboys and Indians” themed party. It was ill-conceived and problematic since the party took place on Thanksgiving, the day when the average conscious American is even more aware of the evil our nation has perpetrated against the Native Americans.

But again, Hart alluded to the fact that we were making a big deal out of it.

When he outed himself for the cheating scandal and people pointed to the pattern of infidelity in both his first and second marriage, Hart said that it wasn’t the same. Essentially telling us that because he no longer loved and wanted to be with his first wife, that infidelity was “okay.” That we were wrong for drawing a parallel between the two (that we know of) indiscretions.

And interestingly enough, that’s what he’s chosen to do with this scandal as well. In addition to deleting the tweets, Hart deflected, painting a picture of himself as a loving and wise father, steering his children away from angry people, rather than examining the reasons why his actions might have caused the anger in the first place.

This is not it, bruh. Gay people, some who might have supported your career, have a reason to be angry about this type of disrespect when you’ve done nothing to correct it. In fact, this statement makes it that much worse. Because it dismisses a marginalized group as angry and irrational, instead of taking responsibility for the hurt inflicted by his words and slurs. It’s a problem. But given what we know and have seen from Hart, it’s also a pattern. See what other people had to say about his comments and his subsequent response on the following pages.

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