Kevin Hart saw a series of anti-gay tweets from July 2009 to January 2011 resurface in December 2018, around the same time he was announced as the host for the 91st Academy Awards, and he is now speaking out against "cancel culture" in this new The Sunday Times profile.
"I mean, I personally don’t give a s—t about it," Hart said when asked about cancel culture by writer Jonathan Dean. "If somebody has done something truly damaging then, absolutely, a consequence should be attached. But when you just talk about ... nonsense? When you’re talking, ‘Someone said! They need to be taken [down]!’ Shut the f—k up! What are you talking about?"
The 41-year-old actor, stand-up comedian and producer continued: "When did we get to a point where life was supposed to be perfect? Where people were supposed to operate perfectly all the time? I don’t understand. I don’t expect perfection from my kids. I don’t expect it from my wife, friends, employees. Because, last I checked, the only way you grow up is from f—ing up. I don’t know a kid who hasn’t f—ed up or done some dumb s—t."
Hart also addressed the specific cancellation and backlash he faced after his past tweets resurfaced.
"If people want to pull up stuff, go back to the same tweets of old, go ahead," he said, later noting that changing his comedic material has more to do with "backlash" and "intent" than fear of cancel culture. "There is nothing I can do. You're looking at a younger version of myself. A comedian trying to be funny and, at that attempt, failing. Apologies were made. I understand now how it comes off. I look back and cringe. So it's growth. It’s about growth."
Hart tweeted Dec. 6, 2018, that he would no longer host the February 2019 Oscars as well as an apology:
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
I'm sorry that I hurt people.. I am evolving and want to continue to do so. My goal is to bring people together not tear us apart. Much love & appreciation to the Academy. I hope we can meet again.— Kevin Hart (@KevinHart4real) December 7, 2018
Hart also discussed the controversy during a January 2019 visit to The Ellen DeGeneres Show:
The Primetime Emmy nominee temporarily departed from comedy for his upcoming Netflix drama Fatherhood, based on Matt Logelin's 2012 memoir Two Kisses for Maddy. Hart plays Matt, a single father whose high school sweetheart and wife, Liz, dies from a pulmonary embolism 27 hours after giving birth to their first child, a daughter named Maddy.
The film was directed by Paul Weitz with Hart doubling as a producer. Barack and Michelle Obama's High Ground Productions is among its production companies.
Fatherhood will hit the streamer Friday (June 18).