Don Lemon gets emotional on CNN while discussing Kevin Hart's Ellen interview
“For many in the gay community, especially in the black community, the Twitter apologies on Ellen have fallen flat,” Lemon said on his CNN show, pointing out reactions calling the talk show moment “insincere” and that Hart “somehow turns himself into a victim instead of acknowledging the real victims of violent and sometimes deadly homophobia.” Lemon added: “Someone like Kevin Hart, with one of the biggest megaphones in the entire world, he can be a leader … he can help change homophobia in the black community, something Kevin’s old Twitter jokes addressed but in the wrong way."
- Ellen's decision to offer Hart absolution was "sickening": "When the most famous and beloved gay person in America congratulates an equally famous and wealthy person on ignoring queer people hurt by his violent and homophobic rhetoric, she is abdicating her responsibility to the people she claims to care so much about—the 'kids (who) are killed for being gay or beaten up every day,' as she described them in Friday’s episode," says Christina Cauterucci. "DeGeneres could have used the interview to help Hart engage in a deep, complicated reckoning with his biases and his aversion to taking accountability for them. Instead, she echoed his repeated claims that the criticism of his homophobia was a 'malicious attack' on his person and his career, as if there weren’t good reason to be disturbed by the remarks the 'haters' brought up."
- GLAAD issues a terse response to Hart's Ellen appearance: "From when this news first broke, GLAAD said Kevin Hart should not step down from the Oscars, he should step up and send an unequivocal message of acceptance to LGBTQ youth that matches the force and impact of his initial anti-LGBTQ remarks"
- Ellen's treatment of Hart was an embarrassing instance of clueless celebrity overreach — and sent a toxic message to the black LGBTQ community
- It was shocking to see Ellen throw her weight behind Hart's self-victimization
- Their conversation wasn't between a gay comedian and a straight one: "It's between one insulated celebrity and another, bonding over what they have in common"
- Who died and made Ellen gay pope?: "Really, no single person is qualified to offer the forgiveness of all of queer America," says Drew Goins. "But a white cisgender woman who is widely beloved and obscenely wealthy to boot is particularly ill-suited to try to muster such papal authority. For DeGeneres to think herself licensed to dispense this pass to Hart suggests that the only real indulgence here is her own."
- Ellen telling Hart "don't let those people win" was a diss of the LGBTQ community: "In one breath she went from articulating the legitimate gripes of gay folks to dismissing all of them as haters and losers," says Spencer Kornhaber. "This is how discourse short-circuits, how reasonable calls to show some empathy get hijacked into tribal warfare and incoherent rhetoric about “mob mentality.” It’s simply true that real people, not amorphous axe-grinding masses, are hurt by attitudes like the ones Hart expressed in his jokes."
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