Ellen Degeneres urges Kevin Hart to host Oscars

Ellen DeGeneres is supporting actor and comedian Kevin Hart after he stepped down from hosting the Oscars following a backlash over past homophobic tweets.

Posted: Jan 5, 2019 11:37 AM
Updated: Jan 5, 2019 11:58 AM

It hasn't been a great couple of weeks in the press for comedian Kevin Hart. Last week, he and his wife were slammed and accused of racism on social media for a cowboys and Indians-themed birthday party for his son, which he refused to apologize for.

Now he is in another media firestorm after his homophobic tweets resurfaced when it was announced he was hosting the Academy Awards. According to Hart, in an Instagram video he posted, the Academy asked him to apologize after the backlash (no word on why there wasn't a demand for him to apologize for the offensive "cowboys and Indians" party or his unfunny 2010 joke about darker skinned black women).

Hart refused to apologize because he claimed he already "addressed" the tweets years ago (although he appears to believe saying people are "too sensitive" is an apology). Hart also complained that people were being negative by holding him accountable. Hart stepped down from the Oscar hosting gig -- then bizarrely apologized after he said he wouldn't.

Here is what comedians who get in trouble need to understand: You can't "punch down." Skinny people cannot crack jokes about overweight people. Rich people cannot mock poor people. White comedians cannot make black people the butt of their jokes. Straight men cannot joke about assaulting gay men. And if anyone dares go down this lane, the joke must be so hilarious that even the community who is being insulted will laugh out loud. There are very few comedians who have that gift.

Hart has been trending on social media for several hours and now he has been defended by conservatives who shout things like, "People are too sensitive!" Sadly, Hart is being used as political fodder, because certain folks want to whine that asking someone to be held accountable for offensive language is an attack from a "leftist mob" or the PC police.

They want an excuse to defend, for example, a sitting senator who "jokes" about a "public hanging" and is still elected a senator of Mississippi. A man running for governor can caution voters not to vote for his black opponent, lest they "monkey this up" -- and still be elected governor of Florida. Our sitting President can insult countless people, even deceased war heroes, and still have a high approval rating among his own party. Therefore, their outrage is selective and partisan.

In reality, we aren't more "sensitive." People -- including celebrities and politicians -- constantly get away with verbal murder, winning elections or even evading accusations of sexual assault, and their careers are unscathed.

Hart has more class than Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi, Florida Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis and our current President. Personally, I wish he hadn't resigned and that GLAAD, a major LGBTQ advocacy organization, did not want him to bow out. Hart could have engaged in a teachable moment and probably cracked some good jokes about the incident in his opening monologue. Furthermore, the Academy Awards should have done its research before giving Hart the gig; these jokes were well known.

That said, no one should shed a tear for the comedian. Kevin Hart is unaffected and safe. He is a rich celebrity who has several sources of income; he will not suffer. Not hosting the Academy Awards will not affect his life. He will thrive.

As for his actual comments, among the many tweets that resurfaced is one from 2011 that read, "Yo if my son comes home & try's 2 play with my daughters (sic) doll house I'm going 2 break it over his head & say n my voice 'stop that's gay.'" As someone who grew up with an extremely abusive homophobic father, I know firsthand this isn't funny, it's triggering. But maybe I am too sensitive...

In another tweet, Hart wrote that an actor had an avatar that looked like "a gay billboard for AIDS." I'm not sure when HIV/AIDS jokes became funny, but it's hard for me to chuckle when I have been at the bedside of someone dying of HIV-related diseases. But maybe I am too sensitive...

For most of his career, Hart has framed himself as a non-political, safe comedian who actively avoided race and politics in his comedy (until he recently told Trump to "suck it," which people on the right who are advocating for him now should consider before praising him). I like my comedy political and edgy, and these tweets weren't edgy or funny. That said, it's interesting Hart has avoided race in his work, but had no issue talking about LGBTQ folks, even though that is a community he apparently knows nothing about.

Kevin Hart owes his success to black audiences, and considering how many LGBTQ people are black, the Philadelphia native should certainly do better. A message for Hart and for all of us: What you find funny and what you believe people are "too sensitive" about speaks volumes about your character.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 306538

Reported Deaths: 5435
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion41953849
Lake26872453
Allen17621295
Elkhart16905219
St. Joseph16524223
Hamilton12696167
Vanderburgh9552115
Tippecanoe844927
Porter813785
Johnson6231165
Vigo597979
Hendricks5944156
Monroe530349
Clark504077
Madison4858121
Delaware4820103
LaPorte457194
Kosciusko455739
Howard334975
Warrick319572
Floyd311477
Bartholomew308462
Wayne301367
Cass295831
Marshall293744
Grant262949
Noble249846
Hancock246551
Boone240254
Henry240237
Dubois234631
Dearborn215730
Jackson212633
Morgan204443
Gibson181725
Knox181419
Shelby178254
Clinton177821
Lawrence174047
DeKalb172829
Adams166422
Wabash158020
Miami157814
Daviess154643
Fayette147733
Steuben143513
Jasper142111
Harrison141824
LaGrange140129
Montgomery139027
Whitley133412
Ripley128114
Decatur124643
Huntington123510
Putnam123027
Randolph120719
Wells120428
White120321
Clay119822
Posey119616
Jefferson116216
Scott103219
Greene101353
Jay96413
Starke90621
Sullivan88916
Fulton83518
Jennings83214
Spencer8198
Perry81521
Fountain7738
Washington7417
Franklin68626
Carroll67913
Orange66628
Vermillion5993
Owen5987
Parke5606
Newton55312
Tipton55226
Rush5317
Blackford51912
Pike50318
Pulaski37710
Martin3515
Benton3362
Brown3353
Crawford2881
Union2671
Switzerland2555
Warren2382
Ohio2307
Unassigned0266

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 371840

Reported Deaths: 6100
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin50231667
Cuyahoga36047741
Hamilton29931372
Montgomery20065228
Butler14769146
Lucas14317414
Summit13388316
Stark8792197
Warren819175
Mahoning7276299
Lake682666
Lorain643499
Clermont577248
Delaware556436
Licking549276
Fairfield538464
Trumbull5305147
Greene522364
Clark511464
Allen465485
Marion465251
Wood4491107
Medina447756
Miami425867
Pickaway399348
Columbiana347297
Portage344872
Tuscarawas328658
Wayne318793
Richland316638
Mercer289945
Hancock241337
Ross240759
Muskingum240210
Auglaize231031
Putnam224749
Erie224266
Darke223559
Ashtabula223253
Geauga203351
Scioto195915
Union19118
Shelby190615
Lawrence189438
Athens18864
Seneca180018
Belmont164929
Madison158918
Sandusky154229
Preble152621
Huron152318
Defiance139522
Holmes139139
Logan127816
Knox126318
Fulton124525
Washington121927
Crawford121516
Ottawa121130
Clinton106714
Williams10579
Ashland105222
Highland101317
Jefferson10124
Henry100023
Brown9925
Champaign9475
Jackson93112
Hardin91019
Fayette90317
Van Wert8976
Morrow8882
Guernsey83914
Coshocton82613
Perry78712
Adams78313
Pike7451
Gallia73513
Wyandot71216
Paulding64611
Hocking62616
Noble60223
Carroll45710
Meigs39012
Monroe31821
Morgan2575
Vinton2195
Harrison2023
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Overcast
46° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 40°
Angola
46° wxIcon
Hi: 45° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 41°
Huntington
Overcast
46° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 41°
Decatur
Overcast
48° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: °
Van Wert
Overcast
48° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: °
Cloudy Thanksgiving
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events