Dear Kev, don't worry. We didn't want your apology anyway.
Something I have spoken out on time and time again is my utter disdain for cancel culture. In my opinion, “canceling” someone off of something they said years ago is counterproductive towards a progressive agenda. It means we’re holding them to who they were in the past, regardless of who they are now and what they’ve done to change. As someone who struggled with a lot of internal misogyny, internalized anti-blackness, and internalized homophobia, I can attest that people change for the better should they put in the work.
As of writing this, this week Kevin Hart, AKA the self proclaimed Beyonce and Jay Z of the comedy industry, was chosen to host The Oscars. A huge honor, of course. However, within hours of it being announced, old and since deleted tweets dating from around 2009 to 2010 were uploaded showing homophobic attitudes (whether the homophobia is casual or explicit is up to the viewer) he made about his son.
Now, he decided to speak out on the issue on his instagram, basically saying he has since moved on in positive ways, choosing to spread non-stop positivity. He essentially plays victim, saying he’s not going to let the “craziness” of the world get to him.
“Guys, I’m almost 40 years old. If you don’t believe that people change, grow evolve, as they get older. I don’t know what to tell you.”
Yeah, accurate, as I already said.
“I’m in a great place where all I do is spread positivity...if you don’t get that, get off my page.”
The academy since called him, and told him to apologize. Right?
For someone who has allegedly changed, an apology should come easy. He, however chose not to because he already said where the rights and wrongs were (...where did he do that?). He already said what he did wrong (no really did I miss that?), but my question is where, Mr. Hart, did you ever say you were wrong? Deadass. Where?
Where, Kev, did you ever admit that what you caused said harm?
Here is how an apology should be constructed.
<Insert acknowledgement of what you did wrong> <Insert intention, yet how intention is always outweighed by impact> <insert what you will be doing to change or whatever>
Simple. He decided not to.
He never even acknowledge the physical tweets or the community that was impacted by his words.
He instead posts a Martin Luther King Jr. quote, choosing to stay in love in light and move forward.
Love and light does not and will not ever undo harm done, whether intentional or not. I’m not against positivity, but saying that people are just being negative instead of outright saying “I was wrong.” is gaslighting at its peak. He’s blaming us for being sensitive and for wanting to hold him accountable. How is that not gaslighting?
LGBT youth are at a disproportionate risk when it comes to harm and homelessness. The rate of violence and quite frankly, murder, towards trans women (especially trans women of color) is raising yearly. Any “joke”, old or new, against the LGBT community physically puts us at risk. These may be jokes to you, but these are real lives that you are impacting negatively no matter how much positivity you’re spreading.
It’s fun to wave rainbow flags and say love is love, but LGBT folk aren’t safe, especially in this political climate where it’s okay to show your hate and hate is oftentimes endorsed and protected politically.
For LGBT folk (including myself), seeing those tweets from the past in the present cause fresh wounds. The pain is being caused now. To know that someone we could have enjoyed may feel that way is so shitty on so many levels. It’s a reminder how quite frankly, a large part of the world is still against us living our lives truthfully and safely.
An apology wouldn’t have been just an apology for the past, it would be an apology for the hurt caused in the present day. Instead, Kevin chose to deny the apology, play the victim, gaslight us, and just say that we’re being negative.
People change, but there’s no conclusive proof that he has. You can’t hide in words with no actions to back it up.
Taking accountability for your actions isn’t harmful. It isn’t damaging. It isn’t bending to the sensitive nature of PC culture. It’s simply acknowledging you caused hurt when you didn’t mean to and you will do better.
He doesn’t want to, apparently, and that’s okay, because there are countless of other comedians and entertainers who are queer who we can support anyway.
Kevin, you haven’t been funny for a minute. You were already annoying based on how your jokes incessantly poke fun at black women. Now, the gay community is the butt of your joke, and not for the first time.
There’s no part of you that’s apologetic over any of it, but it’s okay, because we aren’t sorry for not supporting you.
Here’s a list of unshitty and unproblematic queer comedians to check out, and remember always practice self care: