Kevin Hart has opted to pass on Don Lemon’s invitation to be an ‘ally’ to the LGBQT community after the CNN host called out his apology on Ellen last week.
Lemon said on Friday of last week,
“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.”
Lemon went on further, referencing Hart’s tweets and explaining how such jokes can be dangerous. He continued, referencing a story about his friend and Hollywood creator Lee Daniels,
“That was a joke to Kevin. The truth is, that is a reality for many little boys in the United States … somewhere a black dad is beating his black son.”
"Apologizing and moving on does not make the world a better place for people who are gay or people who are transgender, being an ally does," says CNN's @DonLemon, reacting to the Oscars' openness to Kevin Hart's return https://t.co/ITGU3Uj2ez pic.twitter.com/4u48sfBF0U
— CNN Tonight (@CNNTonight) January 5, 2019
In the eyes of many, not only didn’t Ellen have the right to pardon Kevin on the behalf of the entire LGBTQ community, but they felt as if Kev did nothing more than regurgitate the same rhetoric that kept him from hosting in the first place.
But last night (Monday) Kevin didn’t budge. Not only did he double down on his stance, but passed on pledging to Don’s alliance. Kevin said on his “Straight From the Hart” SiriusXM radio show that aired on Laugh Out Loud Radio Channel 96 Monday evening,
“I don’t like the forcing. Don Lemon goes on CNN you can fix this become an ally. That’s not my life dream.”
And quite frankly, he’s right — he doesn’t owe the LGBTQ community his alliance nor needs their forgiveness. At this point, Hart no longer has obligations and is absolved from all wrongdoings to the LGBTQ community since he’s apologized and rectified his.
As long as he’s seen his fault and changed his behavior, what else can be demanded of him? I say zilch.
Initially there to promote his upcoming film, The Upside, Kev found himself confiding in and telling his side of the Oscar fiasco to someone who happened to be a prominent member of the LGBTQ community.
Kevin wasn’t seeking sympathy points nor did he ask for his reinstatement as host. In fact, Hart was surprised to hear Ellen had already reached out to the Oscars to get him back.
The fact that Kev received any flack for his Ellen interview not only shows how misplaced the hate and anger is, but that cancel culture lacks nuance. We’ve gotten so used to either throwing people away or keeping them that we don’t know how to live in between.
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) January 4, 2019
It was Kevin who stepped down from hosting, Kev who apologized even though he had apologized before, then apologized again. It was Kevin who was invited back to the Oscars and forgiven by LGBTQ icons.
Just like Kev said on Ellen, he’s been putting his apology to work for ten years. He said,
“No headlines are saying ten years ago he apologized; nobody is finding the apologies, nobody is finding the footage where I had to address it.”
I have made the choice to step down from hosting this year's Oscar's….this is because I do not want to be a distraction on a night that should be celebrated by so many amazing talented artists. I sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past.
— Kevin Hart (@KevinHart4real) December 7, 2018
Following the backlash of his appearance on Ellen, Kevin took to Instagram calling out his critics and their inability to give him the benefit of growth. He wrote,
“When did we get to the point where we forgot that we all learn, then we all have the ability to grow and with that growth comes a wealth of knowledge. You can’t change without an understanding of what GROWTH means. #Message #LiveLoveLaugh #HappySaturday”
If Kevin Hart was to base his happiness on the acceptance of others or wait on forgiving himself until others did, he’d be miserable. Not everyone believes in redemption, which is their right, but it doesn’t mean he wasn’t and isn’t remorseful or that he has to be an ally because of it.
Although Kevin responded to Ellen’s call for him to try hosting the Oscars again with he’d be “evaluating this conversation,” it seems that Don Lemon helped make his decision for him.
Along with stating his lack of a desire to be an ally to the LGBTQ community, he also let listeners on his radio program know that he wouldn’t pursue the hosting the Oscars. He explained on his podcast,
“I don’t have time to prepare and do it correctly. The microscope on me is so, is so f—ing thick that they’re looking for everything. So anything, anything that I say that’s not appropriate, that’s wrong … you’re gonna pick me apart.”
Even though Kevin Hart declined Don Lemon’s invitation, he seems to get it.
On Monday, after the podcast aired, the CNN anchor said he had spoken with Hart off the record over the weekend and that it’s the comedians right not to “be an ally for the LGBT community.” Lemon said,
“He wants to be accepted. He wants us to accept him. He wants to be embraced on his own merits. Isn’t that what the LGBT community wants? So maybe — right? An olive branch in an effort to understand.”
Forgive him or not, that’s your prerogative. But let’s stop acting like Kevin Hart is in debt beyond what he’s already paid.