Opinion: The Oscars and the Internet mob
On Dec. 4, Kevin Hart was announced as the host of the 2019 Oscars. People seemed pretty excited, considering Hart has cemented himself as one of the most popular comedians of this generation. He made the announcement on his Instagram with much excitement, proclaiming that this has been a lifelong dream of his. A few days later, some of his tweets from 2009 and 2010 resurfaced.
In the tweets, Hart mentioned that his worst fear is that his son would be gay. He also said he’d hit his son over the head with a doll if Hart ever saw him playing with one. He made a joke about how gay men aren’t real men. He also used a homophobic slur in some of the tweets. Many considered these tweets homophobic, while some saw it as his type of humor.
Hart received a lot of heat for this and the Academy told him that if he didn’t apologize for the tweets, he would be removed from the Oscars host position. On Dec. 6, he delivered this message on Instagram: “I passed on the apology. The reason why I passed is because I’ve addressed this several times. This is not the first time this has come up. I’ve addressed it. I’ve spoken on it. I’ve said where the rights and wrongs were. I’ve said who I am now versus who I was then. I’ve done it. I’ve done it. I’m not going to continue to go back and tap into the days of old, when I’ve moved on and I’m in a completely different space in my life.”
A day later he tweeted out:
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
On Jan. 4, Hart went on the Ellen show and, in my opinion, had a great authentic discussion. He mentioned how “trolls” on the Internet are looking for a perfect person, who Kevin says doesn’t exist. He said we all make mistakes and he once again apologized for his tweets. He said for people to go through 40,000 tweets and find the controversial ones felt like an attack.
Ellen DeGeneres said she called the Oscars and they said they’d be thrilled if he decided to come back. He said that if he went back there’d be a darkness over the whole evening that would distract from the event. DeGeneres responded that she feels as though by not hosting the Oscars, he’s letting the Internet trolls win. She believes that this is exactly what the haters want and if doesn’t host, they win. Hart told her she had given him a lot to think about and he was going to re-evaluate his hosting decision.
After watching the interview, I thought there was no way people could get mad at what was said. But the Internet doesn’t work that way. Both Hart and DeGeneres’ comments received extreme backlash by people on Twitter. One example is Harry Cook, who tweeted “The only thing @KevinHart4real proved by going on Ellen was that he is a terrible actor with zero genuine remorse who didn’t have the decency to address his ignorance.”
There were several others. The next few days are a back and forth between apologies, defending his actions and more hate from the Internet. Finally, on Jan. 9, Hart officially confirmed he will not be coming back. About a month later, the Oscars announced they will not be having a host this year.
To conclude this article, I’m going to give my thoughts on the whole situation. First off, I’d like to say that the original tweets were ignorant and didn’t need to be said. I believe he was trying to make jokes, but I didn’t find them funny. However, I hate the idea of people digging up dirt on a person from almost 10 years ago. No one in the world can say they’ve never said anything hurtful or offensive. Why must we go back and judge someone for a mistake they made so long ago and have apologized for?
We live in such a non-forgiving society that deems you evil after any mistakes. Hart was right when he said there’s no such thing as a perfect person. I also agree with DeGeneres when she said Hart should host the Oscars. By hosting, he’d be showing that haters on the Internet can’t take him down. By stepping down, he’s giving them exactly what they want.
I do understand his perspective. He believes that if he hosted, that night wouldn’t be about the Oscars. It would be about the controversy of Kevin Hart hosting. That being said, I still think he should’ve hosted.
Finally I just want to say that not having an Oscars host was a terrible decision by the Academy. There’s probably a hundred celebrities out there that would be willing to host, so they could definitely find one. Having a host is an Oscars tradition. It keeps the show unified.
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