Why I Don't Forgive Kevin Hart

On January 9, Kevin Hart announced that he was not hosting the Academy Awards this year, signaling the end of a long situation that didn’t need to be drawn out as long as it was. If you are lucky enough to be unfamiliar with what happened, it was announced that Kevin Hart would be hosting the 2019 Academy Awards, and shortly after, LGBT activists pointed out several homophobic tweets that the comedian had made years prior. The tweets included things like homophobic slurs, AIDS jokes, and stating that his “biggest fear” was that his son would be gay.

Initially, Hart refused to apologize, blaming the backlash on “internet trolls." He only did so because he was told by the Academy that he could either apologize or be removed from hosting. He ended up stepping down after apologizing anyway. Some people believed that his apology was enough and that the things he said years ago shouldn’t be held against him because people can change. I agree with the statement that people can change their offensive views, but I don’t believe it applies to Kevin Hart.

First of all, the idea that his tweets were suddenly brought up when it was announced he’d be hosting the Academy Awards isn’t true. Activists had been talking about them for years. As a member of the LGBT community, I’d known about them for a long time and was honestly surprised (and kind of relieved) they were finally causing a backlash against the comedian. Second, his apology was insincere. There is a difference between apologizing because you offended somebody and apologizing because you were caught offending somebody. If you’re placing the blame on the person you offended, the apology just isn’t an apology.

There’s been a big trend recently of old, offensive tweets being brought to light. Last year, YouTuber Laura Lee was called out for some extremely racist tweets, and instead of offering a genuine apology, she sat on the floor in front of her camera and fake cried. If she had never been called out for the tweets, she never would have acknowledged them. Like I said earlier, there is a big difference between apologizing because you’re actually sorry and apologizing because you got caught.

In my opinion, if a person is genuinely sorry for the hurt they’ve caused, I’m willing to believe them and accept their apology. If Kevin Hart had come out with a sincere apology from the beginning, it still probably wouldn’t make me like him, but I would accept his words and move on from the situation. Because he insisted on dragging the situation out and only apologized when his career was threatened, I can’t find it in my heart to forgive him. Ellen DeGeneres is much nicer than I am.

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