Brief Thoughts on Kevin Hart
For the past few weeks, Kevin Hart has been a kind, charitable soul – he’s given us a 100% free masterclass in how not to handle a PR crisis.
The tale is well-worn at this point: he was slated as the Oscars host but then he was sidelined when decade-old homophobic tweets resurfaced. Rather than apologize for them and move forward with prepping for one of the year’s biggest events, he posted TWO videos explaining that he’d already apologized. Then he withdrew himself from consideration, leaving the Oscars without a host just weeks away from the ceremony.
The weeks following his withdrawal have been defined by his ubiquity He’s hit nighttime talk shows, daytime talk shows, radio shows, you name it to promote his new movie The Upside (which, by the way, hit #1 this past weekend despite receiving abysmal reviews). But this press tour wasn’t really about his movie. It was his non-apology tour.
Hart really drove home that he already apologized for hurting the LGBTQ community with his old, unfunny tweets. He’s a changed man now, and it’s unfair that we’re still holding him accountable for something he’s already been held accountable for.
I’m not a fan of outrage culture. I don’t think it’s fair to rake someone over the coals because of old tweets, and I also feel that general public outrage is conditional. If something batshit crazy is going on at the White House, stuff like this tends to get overlooked. Kevin Hart is not the victim of misplaced anger or political correctness run amok – he’s the victim of a slow news week.
That being said, if he had already dealt with the fallout of those tweets once before, why were they still up? Why didn’t his PR team cover all their bases before the Oscars announcement hit the media? In this day and age, even average joes scan their old tweets for anything that could cost them a job. Why did Hart feel he was exempt?
In the end, nothing he said, in his tweets or his old standup routines, was that offensive. Meaner, and more skillfully crafted, jokes have been used to sting me and my folks. What’s downright annoying about this situation is that there was an easy out here. “I’m sorry. I regret it. Let’s move on to the big show!” But he attempted to be a martyr of modern culture. He painted himself as a victim. People were sabotaging him and robbing him of this great opportunity.
The only person who robbed Kevin Hart of his Oscars hosting gig was him. In fact, the Academy still wants him to host, but he’s committed to being a matryr. And quite frankly, it’s getting old.
I’m actually looking forward to the host-less Oscars now, where I’m sure someone will tell a mildly offensive joke about the guy who was supposed to do the job.