In the past, Kevin Hart has apologized for old homophobic comments that wound up leading him, in December, to drop his gig as host of the 2019 Oscars. They’ve simply tended to be read as insincere or too vague or even testy, as though he was annoyed that people wouldn’t let him move on and forget what he once said. Now, only four days after his latest attempt to make amends on Ellen only led to more complaints, Hart has released a new statement of apology.
The comic and actor made his comments on his SiriusXM show Straight to the Hart, as per EW. “I will say this, and I want to make this very clear,” Hart said. “Once again, Kevin Hart apologizes for his remarks that hurt members of the LGBTQ community. I apologize.”
Hart was still defensive, saying his original controversial remarks — and even his recent attempts to right the ship — were taken out of context. One example he cited: the old bit about not wanting a gay son.
“Here is how it starts off: ‘I want to say that I have no problem with gay people. I don’t have a homophobic bone in my body. I want you to be happy, be gay, be happy.’ And then I say as a heterosexual male, if I can do something to stop my son… that’s where the joke starts!” Hart said. “The only clip that I have seen all over the media is the one where I go, ‘Stop! That’s gay.’”
Hart even partially defended his tweets, saying they were part of a bygone era. “These weren’t words that I said to gay individuals,” Hart said. “I didn’t say these words to people, at the time, this was our dumbasses on Twitter going back and forth with each other. We thought it was okay to talk like that, because that’s how we talked to one another. In that, you go, f*ck! This is wrong now.”
He also addressed the changing times. “Now we’re in a space where I’m around people of the LGBTQ community, and I’m now aware of how these words make them feel, and why they say, ‘That sh*t hurt because of what I’ve been through.’
“So then we say, ‘Hey, man, as a group, let’s erase this sh*t,’” he added. “‘Hey, let’s not do this. We don’t post this sh*t on social media.’”
One of Hart’s critics, CNN anchor Don Lemon, pleaded with the comic on Friday to become an “ally” of the LGBTQ community. Hart seemed to sign up, though as he kept speaking he turned it back on himself. “The fight is the will and want for equality. I’m riding with you guys. I understand you,” Hart said, before adding, “But in the fight for equality, that means that there has to be an acceptance for change. If you don’t want to accept people for their change, then where are you trying to get to the equal part? Where does the equality part come in?”
Hart concluded by saying, “I think that in the times that we’re living in, we have to be understanding and accepting of people and change.”
When Lemon addressed Hart’s attempts at an apology following his chat with Ellen DeGeneres — who tried to give him her blessing to, among other things, reconsider returning as the Oscars host, which he has said he is no longer considering at all — he wanted Hart to do more than move on.
“Walking away right now, that is your choice, but many of us really need to keep the conversation going. It’s life or death,” Lemon said. “And someone like a Kevin Hart, with one of the biggest megaphones in the world, can be a leader, the ultimate change agent. He can help change homophobia in the black community.”