Kevin Hart is taking another shot at apologizing for his old homophobic and transphobic tweets that resurfaced after he was tapped to host the Oscars.
The comedian, who stepped down as host after the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences requested that he apologize amid the controversy, issued a new apology to the LGBTQ community on his SiriusXM radio show, Straight to the Hart. The episode airs on Kevin Hart’s Laugh Out Loud Radio Channel 96 on Monday evening.
“I will say this, and I want to make this very clear,” Hart said, after insisting that his words have been “chopped up” after previous apologies. “Once again, Kevin Hart apologizes for his remarks that hurt members of the LGBTQ community. I apologize.”
He went on to rehash his controversial jokes, complaining that his words have been taken out of context. “Here is how it starts off,” he said. “‘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!”
He added, “The only clip that I have seen all over the media is the one where I go, ‘Stop! That’s gay.’”
Hart seemingly defended some of his old tweets, saying, “These weren’t words that I said to gay individuals. I didn’t say these words to people, at the time, this was our dumb asses 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—! This is wrong now.”
The actor also spoke about how the social climate has changed since he wrote those jokes and tweets. “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— hurt because of what I’ve been through.’
“So then we say, ‘Hey, man, as a group, let’s erase this sh—,’” he added. “‘Hey, let’s not do this. We don’t post this sh— on social media.’”
Hart went on to ask that his apologies be accepted in the interest of equality. “If the fight from the LGBTQ community is equality, that’s the fight,” he said. “The fight is the will and want for equality. I’m riding with you guys. I understand you. 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?”
After spending time debating the answer to that question, 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.”
The discussion comes after Hart sat down with Ellen DeGeneres last week to discuss his decision not to the host the Oscars. The actor told DeGeneres that he “talked about this, this isn’t new. I’ve addressed it.”
The interview itself garnered controversy from members of the LGBTQ community, including CNN anchor Don Lemon, who spoke about Hart on CNN Tonight. Despite Hart claiming that he had apologized numerous times for his comments in the past, Lemon said CNN could not find any record of him actually doing so before stepping down.
“Kevin, if anything, this is the time to hear other people out, to understand why they might have been offended, and I don’t see any meaningful outreach to the LGBT community, not that I know of,” the anchor said.
Hart also told DeGeneres that he wants to just apologize and move on from this controversy. Lemon responded, “Walking away right now, that is your choice, but many of us really need to keep the conversation going. It’s life or death. 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.”
Lemon pointed to Hart’s old stand-up routine in which he joked about knocking his son and another kid down when they were dancing on each other. Hart also tweeted about how he would break his daughter’s dollhouse over his son’s head if he ever caught him playing with it, among other homophobic jokes.
Hart appeared to respond to Lemon’s comments with an Instagram post Saturday. “A news anchor or a journalist does not start at the top…,” Hart wrote. “They have to LEARN and develop to be great at their job.”
He added in the caption, “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 …..Please grasp this and use it in 2019.”