• Luis Gomez

Hart Breaks With Oscar's Hosting Gig

Updated: Mar 30, 2020

Leading up to the Oscars most talk about the awards ceremony, that famously celebrates excellence in film is centered around the nominees. Two days ago the Oscar academy revealed that they would have Kevin Hart as the host for the 2019 Oscar ceremony, and during those two days all talk regarding the Oscar’s was centered around whether Kevin Hart was an appropriate host.

The LGBTQ community quickly spoke out against Kevin Hart’s appointment because of his past use of anti-gay and homophobic rhetoric and speech. The source of Hart’s anti-gay speech was in both old published tweets and his comedy specials from years ago.

Within social media many were furious that the Oscar’s chose Hart as host. Petitions were being amassed asking for his removal as host. Others simply wanted a frank apology from Kevin Hart. In response to the criticism he was receiving Kevin Hart tweeted:

“Stop looking for reasons to be negative…Stop searching for reasons to be angry….I swear I wish you guys could see/feel/understand the mental place that I am in. I am truly happy.”

Hart’s unapologetic tweet was negatively met by not just the general public but by other actors as well. Jamie Lee Curtis tweeted out:

“Homophobia is not positivity.”

Six hours after Hart’s aforementioned tweet, he tweeted that he would no longer host the Oscar’s:

“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 sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past.”

Even after Kevin Hart removed himself as the Oscar’s host there are questions that linger, such as why if Hart was in such a different mind space did he not apologize to the LGBTQ community in the two days after he was revealed as host. Ironically, Hart ended up apologizing to the LGBTQ community after he removed himself as host. Hart’s quitting was also not seen as necessary by everyone, Jay Pharaoh, former SNL cast comedian tweeted in response to Hart’s “quitting” tweet:

“Bro you didn’t have to step down, an apology would have sufficed”

As a whole the manner in which we treat celebrities has changed. Previously, celebrities and comics in particular had much more carte blanche to do what they wanted without direct chastising from the general public. The freedom of speech and irThis has changed as our societies taste no longer views hate speech as comedic entertainment. Kevin Hart says that he no longer uses anti-gay words and rhetoric like he did years ago, but one can’t undermine the effect of society’s much more P.C. hand had in molding the new Kevin Hart.

As the public we are still trying to define to what extent should past actions influence how we view people in entertainment today. One can’t help but wonder if Hart had apologized in the two-day window since he was announced as host would that have pacified his critics. Lastly, in today’s socio-political climate in which everyone who is not the majority is demanding equal treatment will such a situation happen again? The reason LGBTQ people were so enraged with Hart as a host in part stems from the fact that he did not use anti-gay sentiment and speech once or twice but many many times. And, yet, Hart himself raises an excellent point, people do change and should be allowed to change, but if they’ve committed one too many infractions do they now still deserve the benefit of the doubt.