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Well, it looks like Kevin Hart actually never even apologised for those homophobic jokes

Kevin refused to apologise, claiming he had done so too many times before.

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ON FRIDAY MORNING, Kevin Hart dragged those old homophobic jokes (that he insists he’s trying to leave in the past) into the spotlight again, when he made an appearance on Ellen. 

Ellen DeGeneres took it upon herself to forgive Kevin Hart on behalf of the entire LGBTQ population, announcing that Kevin has her seal of approval, while labeling those who were unhappy with Kevin’s comments as “trolls”. Ellen then made it publicly known that she still wants her buddy Kevin Hart to host the Oscars this year. 

When this happened, we were confused by Ellen’s behaviour and her eagerness to pander to Kevin Hart’s month-long tantrum. However, we really did want to give Kevin Hart the benefit of the doubt, and believe that he has made genuine apologies, learned from all of this and grown as a person – as he said he did

Yet, it’s impossible to genuinely believe that Hart has learned anything or has accepted responsibility for his actions when he is so unwilling to accept the repercussions that follow. These repercussions aren’t even particularly bad. All people want is an apology. Kevin said that he’s sick and tired of apologising, as he has done it plenty of times and if people wanted an apology they could go back and have a look on Google to find all of the instances in which he apologised for his homophobic comments. 

So, entertainment website Vulture went to round up all of Kevin’s old apologies, and they discovered that, sure, he had acknowledged his comments in plenty of interviews; but he has never actually said the words “I’m sorry”, or expressed any regret whatsoever.

In Vulture’s investigation, they wrote: 

An apology is acknowledging a mistake, offense, or failure. An apology has words like “I’m sorry” or “I regret,” and these words are used without shifting the blame or burden to another person, place, or thing. An apology is not “I’m sorry if I offended you” or “I’m sorry if my words hurt your feelings” or “I don’t do that anymore because people are too sensitive these days.”

Vulture also referenced some massive celebrity f**k-ups from over the years (and some even more severe than Kevin’s), which had been followed by very sincere and satisfactory apologies, which might not have fixed everything, but certainly made things easier for the celebrities involved as they moved on with their careers.

With that in mind, there’s really no excuse for a celebrity to not apologise, unless they’re dead set on being an arsehole. Apologies from celebrities are so rare, that when they are made, they go a long way. How many celebs have you seen praised and patted on the back for making limp apologies? 

In Vulture’s roundup of Kevin Hart’s comments about the whole homophobia thing, they went through a series of interviews. The first interview was with Men’s Health in 2013, where Hart said:

I’m not big on joking about politics or on jokes pointed at the gay community. That’s not my agenda. That’s not what I strive to do. I leave those things alone. Things have really changed between where comedy is now and where it used to be. 

Does any of that resemble an apology to you? How about the next interview, from Playboy in 2014?

I don’t talk about the gay community, be it male or female. No thank you! It’s such a sensitive subject. I’ve seen comics get into serious trouble by joking about gay people. It’s too dangerous. Whatever you say, any joke you make about the gay community, it’s going to be misconstrued. It’s not worth it. 

Oh, so it’s the gay people misconstruing the jokes who are wrong, not Kevin Hart for making the jokes. Okay! That same year, Kevin took part in a Reddit AMA, where he said he changed his mind about gay jokes because “It’s just a sensitive topic and I respect people of all orientations. So, it’s just best left alone.” No apology here, either. 

In 2015, he told Rolling Stone that he “wouldn’t tell [the gay-son joke] today”.

When I said it, the times weren’t as sensitive as they are now. I think we love to make big deals out of things that aren’t necessarily big deals, because we can. These things become public spectacles. So why set yourself up for failure? 

Here Kevin is, saying that telling a homophobic joke would be setting himself up for failure, and that’s what he won’t do it – not because he cares about how it would make any LGBTQ person feel. After thoroughly searching the internet for this apology that Kevin Hart said would take as much energy to find as his homophobic tweets, Vulture came up empty-handed. They wrote:

It’s simply inaccurate to say that Hart has apologised for or sincerely reckoned with it in a meaningful way until his Ellen interview, when he acknowledged publicly that it was “wrong”. But for Hart to couch his statements with the insistence that his apologies already happened long ago in some easily Googled article or clip – and more, for DeGeneres to perpetuate that claim – shows that Hart has no intention of truly owning up to, and evolving from, his past mistakes. 

Just as we thought, tbh

CNN’s Don Lemon responded to the whole saga by saying “Kevin, if anything – this is the time to hear other people out, to understand why they might have been offended. I don’t see any meaningful outreach to the LGBT community. Not that I know of. Maybe you do it privately, and if you do, I congratulate you.”  There really is very little evidence out there that Kevin Hart has become a better person from all of this, as he claimed he had on Ellen.

Don Lemon pointed out all of the ways Kevin could use this situation to help others. Opportunities that he is wasting, if he continues to dodge accountability. 

He could help change homophobia in the black community. Something his old Twitter jokes addressed, but in the wrong way. Take the tweet where he said that he would break a doll’s house over his sons head if he found him playing with it. He said, “That’s gay.” That was a joke to Kevin, but the truth is – that is a reality for many little boys in the United States.
Somewhere, a black dad is beating his black son. The same way it happened to my friend, Oscar nominated director Lee Daniels, who through his TV show Empire portrayed how, as a little boy, his dad threw him in a trash can for wearing heels. Took him out of the house and threw him in the trash can. That’s a reality for a lot of little boys. 

Don finished this story by pointing out that 44% of homeless gay youth in America are black, despite the fact that only 12.3% of the American population are black.

Looking at the sheer number of Kevin Hart fans who are blindly scrambling to defend this comedian that they deeply respect, there’s really no denying that Kevin could play a massive role in changing people’s attitudes towards homosexuality in America, but right now, that doesn’t seem to be something he’s interested in doing. 

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About the author:

Kelly Earley

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