Kevin Hart's apology for his past homophobic jokes got lost in baseless conspiracy theorizing, egged on by Ellen DeGeneres
"Hart’s apology at the top of the interview is, despite his protests otherwise, the first of its kind," says Caroline Framke of Hart's interview on Ellen in which she urged him to reconsider returning as Oscars host. "Had the interview been left there, it might have made some sense," says Framke. "But DeGeneres then opened the door to the idea that Hart’s critics were en masse nothing but 'haters' who were picking on Hart simply because they could....For someone who wasn’t paying close attention to the backlash, this maybe sounds reasonable. The internet is absolutely prone to stumbling into snowballing arguments, often overwhelming reason with sheer volume of passion. But with Hart, that was categorically not the case. Hart got blowback from the LGBTQ community and beyond because he had made violent homophobic 'jokes' and had thus far failed to meaningfully reckon with them. He got more heat when he insisted that he had already apologized, when in fact he had only ever acknowledged the jokes in passing." It wasn't a conspiracy that the old homophobic jokes re-emerged after he was picked to host the Oscars. "It came back into focus because hosting the Oscars is one of the most prominent jobs in entertainment, and he was therefore bound to be under a sharper microscope than ever before," says Framke. "(Hart also seems to misunderstand Twitter on a basic level: no one needs to comb through his 40,000 tweets to find insensitivity when they can just use the search bar for '@KevinHart4Real + [a slur].)" Framke adds: "If he gets the job back, it won’t be because he’s convinced his detractors that he actually cares about gay people. It’ll be because he spun a story about vicious trolls going after him for no good reason. It might be a compelling enough angle to convince DeGeneres and her audience, but even if it manages to sway the Academy, it still won’t actually be true."
- Ellen avoided a necessary, meaningful conversation with Hart: "Both DeGeneres and Hart, in this conversation, were in positions of power to create a tangible change in our culture about responsibility, liability, humor, acceptance, and harm," says Kevin Fallon. "...It should have been the teaching moment so many were waiting for. How is it possible then that they both made the situation worse?"
- Ellen can't accept an apology on behalf of an entire community
- Ellen should've at least challenged Hart a little bit
- Ellen seemingly responds to the backlash, tweeting: "However you feel about this, the only positive way through it is to talk about it. Thank you for being here, @KevinHart4real."y
- Celebrities have mostly been quiet in reaction to Ellen's support of Hart
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