Did you hear that comedian Kevin Hart was picked to host the Oscars? To be totally honest, I probably wouldn’t have known it myself if I didn’t follow Christian Toto on Twitter. But as it turns out, Hart was the selected host for all of about fifteen minutes before the uproar began. It seems that he (*gasp*) told some bad jokes about gay people back in the day, making him Unfit For Duty. And after some back and forth with the angry mob, Hart wound up stepping down.
Wednesday afternoon, comedian Kevin Hart was announced as the host for the upcoming 91st annual Academy Awards. By Thursday night, he had stepped down.
The turn of events followed outcry over previous anti-gay tweets, and comments Hart made during stand-up routines nearly 10 years ago. Some of the tweets were feverishly deleted throughout the day on Thursday, leading to an Instragram video from the comedian that only made matters worse for him.
“My team calls me, ‘Oh my God, Kevin, everyone’s upset by tweets you did years ago,’” he said in that video. “Guys, I’m nearly 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. If you want to hold people in a position where they always have to justify the past, do you. I’m the wrong guy, man.”
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
Man, it’s a good thing they didn’t pick Ron White to host. Rather than having to dig back ten years or more, you’d likely find him saying or tweeting something offensive in the last ten minutes. Of course, Hollywood will never pick Ron White to host anything because he’s a conservative.
How upset am I over Hart being chased out of this gig? Not very, particularly since I haven’t watched the Oscars in at least a decade. But this really isn’t a story about Hart or the Oscars specifically. This is about the growing trend of groups pushing for a purity purge, but only when it’s convenient for them.
By this point, anyone who envisions themselves as having any sort of future in the public eye should probably just delete their social media accounts. (Or better yet, not start one in the first place.) Pretty much everyone has said something at some point in their lives that somebody will find offensive. This is quadruply true if you’re a comedian. Most of them actually get paid to say offensive things.
And then when the day comes that a big opportunity of some sort is on the horizon, the first thing the great unwashed masses will do is launch a search party to go through all of your old tweets and Facebook status updates looking for something sinister. If they can’t find anything sufficiently damning they’ll take something else out of context and read what they wish into it. It’s pretty much automatic at this point.
More interesting is all the people who get a pass. It depends on which mob is coming after you and how much you care. It sounds like Kevin Hart couldn’t be bothered to give a hoot and preferred to just take a pass rather than dance for the mob. Good for him.