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Kevin Hart under fire for homophobic tweets

Actor and comedian Kevin Hart responded in an Instagram video after controversial tweets of his resurfaced. CNN's Don Lemon weighs in.

Posted: Dec 7, 2018 5:03 PM
Updated: Dec 7, 2018 5:15 PM

After struggling to find a host for the Oscars, Kevin Hart was briefly in, and then, after some unfortunate old tweets resurfaced, just as quickly out.

From a public-relations standpoint, it's been practically a how-not-to course from all sides, but this fleeting interlude offers a reminder to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences: Don't try to be what you're not.

The Academy Awards are not hip, and they never have been. Yet they have tried to borrow hipness -- and thus reach the sort of viewers who might otherwise roll their eyes at the thought of sitting through the telecast -- by tapping of-the-moment hosts, motivated in part by a desire to reach a younger audience.

At times, strictly in crass commercial terms, that's worked, at least in part. But comics like Chris Rock, Jon Stewart and Seth MacFarlane are an awkward fit with the demands of an awards show and an organizing body -- the academy -- which must serve lots of fairly stodgy constituencies, including ABC and its advertisers, while operating under the microscopic scrutiny of the year's biggest awards stage.

For the past few years, the show essentially settled for the status quo, tapping ABC's genial late-night host, Jimmy Kimmel, to emcee the awards.

Still, with ratings declining sharply last year -- due to a host of factors, most having nothing to do with who handles the monologue and introductions -- there was clearly some hope about jump-starting the process, attracting somebody who would trigger excitement.

The surprise turned out to be that hosting the Oscars is no longer considered a particularly plum assignment but rather a thankless task. And the kind of talents that shepherded the show through simpler times -- Bob Hope, Johnny Carson, Billy Crystal -- are in relatively short supply, especially if the mandate is to find somebody who will inspire "What will they say next?" anticipation in media circles.

What the academy -- and perhaps more so, ABC -- have waffled about accepting or acknowledging is that the movies are the real star of the night, or at least ought to be. And in a year where there's a good chance that there will be big hits, like "A Star is Born," in the mix -- and perhaps even a genuine blockbuster, if "Black Panther" can replicate its Golden Globes feat -- why muck that up with distractions regarding the host or hosts?

The Hollywood Reporter's Stephen Galloway assessed this state of affairs -- in a column headlined, "Why Oscar Host Has Become the Least Wanted Job in Hollywood" -- and came to the conclusion that in the age of Donald Trump, the Academy Awards need a provocateur as host, writing, "It's time the Academy embraced controversy instead of steering away from it."

That's an understandable impulse but a completely wrong-headed one. The Oscars are, ultimately, about celebrating -- and not incidentally, helping sell and market -- movies to a vast, increasingly international audience. So, the best place to start, logically, would be to stop fretting about hosts and embrace the main reason why everyone got all dressed up.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 608519

Reported Deaths: 9693
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion840461335
Lake45349684
Allen32803548
Hamilton29394315
St. Joseph27380381
Elkhart24404345
Vanderburgh19411249
Tippecanoe17970138
Johnson15069295
Porter14783169
Hendricks14401248
Madison10965221
Vigo10726181
Clark10677144
Monroe9383110
Delaware9116134
LaPorte9065163
Howard8236144
Kosciusko806983
Warrick672999
Hancock6697104
Bartholomew6484100
Floyd6428110
Wayne6136162
Grant5991115
Dubois555579
Boone551168
Morgan541295
Henry507864
Marshall503984
Cass483263
Dearborn479845
Noble473059
Jackson425047
Shelby417581
Lawrence391079
Clinton373043
Gibson370359
Harrison348144
DeKalb347164
Montgomery345754
Knox335639
Miami321444
Steuben313745
Whitley307326
Wabash303251
Adams300936
Ripley298445
Putnam296850
Huntington291659
Jasper289034
White273243
Daviess270474
Jefferson263338
Decatur247683
Fayette247148
Greene239862
Posey239328
Wells236051
LaGrange228862
Scott225339
Clay222532
Randolph213548
Jennings198936
Sullivan192333
Spencer191321
Washington186423
Fountain184027
Starke175443
Jay167623
Owen165737
Fulton164030
Orange159534
Carroll158015
Rush155118
Perry154229
Vermillion149134
Franklin148333
Tipton132332
Parke13078
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Blackford111022
Pulaski97037
Newton90921
Brown88035
Benton86610
Crawford7999
Martin73713
Warren6817
Switzerland6615
Union6287
Ohio4907
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Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 859841

Reported Deaths: 10680
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin101171707
Cuyahoga855711125
Hamilton64017448
Montgomery43107418
Summit34836761
Lucas31350625
Butler30973232
Stark25786435
Warren19671140
Lorain19017223
Mahoning17321338
Lake16080154
Clermont15926111
Delaware1438878
Licking13204137
Trumbull12809316
Fairfield1279381
Greene12055137
Medina11591168
Clark10942265
Wood10348158
Allen9897126
Portage9296109
Miami916873
Richland9139118
Marion7459113
Tuscarawas7381182
Columbiana7327124
Pickaway726150
Wayne7034171
Muskingum703141
Erie6152129
Hancock552390
Ross548998
Scioto539164
Geauga508455
Darke470292
Ashtabula453073
Lawrence452654
Union451828
Sandusky436662
Mercer433589
Seneca430166
Huron428741
Auglaize422264
Shelby421222
Jefferson419269
Belmont416840
Washington388740
Athens38009
Putnam374975
Madison355129
Knox352622
Ashland344938
Fulton338443
Defiance330086
Crawford322374
Preble320637
Brown312921
Logan307332
Ottawa293943
Clinton290143
Williams278667
Highland275118
Jackson263845
Guernsey254125
Champaign252028
Fayette236530
Morrow23234
Perry231318
Holmes225474
Henry218749
Hardin213033
Coshocton205622
Van Wert202245
Gallia196726
Wyandot196051
Pike176217
Adams176115
Hocking172024
Carroll155616
Paulding144321
Noble120540
Meigs108624
Monroe100732
Harrison89121
Morgan83130
Vinton70213
Unassigned00
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