Comedian pressured to resign from hosting Oscars after backlash for ‘homophobic’ jokes

Kevin Hart went from 'stop searching for reasons to be negative' to 'I'm sorry that I hurt people' in a matter of hours.
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Kevin Hart Wikimedia Commons
Calvin Freiburger By Calvin Freiburger

Calvin Freiburger By Calvin Freiburger

December 7, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Comedian Kevin Hart has withdrawn as the host for the 91st annual Academy Awards next year, just days after announcing the job and just hours after refusing to apologize for old jokes and comments about homosexuality.

Calling it the “opportunity of a lifetime,” the celebrity announced Tuesday that he had been selected to host the film industry’s top award ceremony. Soon after, however, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences reportedly demanded that he apologize for a series of comments from almost a decade ago.

During a 2010 comedy special, he said, "as a heterosexual male, if I can prevent my son from being gay, I will.” Hart’s Twitter account also contained a number of jokes using “gay” as a pejorative, as well as calling someone a "fat faced f*g” at one point.

The comments were already public knowledge, and in 2015 he told Rolling Stone the joke was more about his own insecurities than about his hypothetical son. “I wouldn’t tell that joke today, because when I said it, the times weren’t as sensitive as they are now,” he said. “I think we love to make big deals out of things that aren’t necessarily big deals, because we can.”

Hart initially responded to this week’s outrage in a similar vein, posting a series of Instagram videos in which he advised people to “stop searching for reasons to be negative (...) If you want to hold people in a position where they always have to justify or explain their past, than do you. I'm the wrong guy."

"I passed on the apology. The reason why I passed is because I’ve addressed this several times," Hart explained. “I’m not going to continue to go back and tap into the days of old, when I’ve moved on and I’m in a completely different space in my life. The same energy that went into finding those old tweets could be the same energy put into finding the response to the questions that have been asked years after years after years. We’re feeding the internet trolls and we reward them. I’m not going to do it, man. I’m going to be me and stand my ground."

A few hours later, however, Hart tweeted that he was standing down after all, going so far as to offer a new apology and a promise of further “evolution” to appease pro-LGBT activists.

Most of the replies to his surrender pushed back against the notion that he should have stepped down, however:

At The Federalist, Emily Jashinsky lamented that Hart’s capitulation squandered a chance for rare, viable pushback to the political correctness dominating Hollywood.

“Hart has by all accounts shifted right along with society” on homosexuality, she wrote. “But nothing is ever good enough. That’s exactly why he should have stood his ground and refused to resign or apologize.”

“His star power would have been better exerted standing fast against the trolls than caving to the insatiable wokeness police. Indeed, given Hart’s influence, and the magnitude of the Oscars platform, this particular conflict represented a big opportunity to diminish the power of the trolls he rightfully disdains,” Jashinsky argued. “Instead, Hart chose to feed them.”

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