In only a matter of days, Kevin Hart was announced as the host of the upcoming Academy Awards and subsequently resigned from the position after outrage over old homophobic tweets and jokes. The Academy is still searching for someone to take his place, which has proved to be a difficult job, because, as former host Seth MacFarlane put it, it is a thankless job.
Though Kevin Hart is most definitely not the victim in this situation, Jerry Seinfeld has stepped up to defend his fellow comedian. "Kevin is in a position, because he is a brilliant comedian, to kind of decide what he wants to do. He doesn't have to step down. But he can," Seinfeld said in an interview with Willie Geist for an interview that will air on NBC's Sunday Today. "And when you look at the situation-well, who got screwed in that deal?"
An interesting question coming from Seinfeld, who less than two months ago said it wasn't too soon for Louis C.K. to make his comeback after admitting to sexual harassment in 2017.
"I think Kevin is going to be fine, but find another Kevin Hart? That's not so easy. He's a brilliant guy with a movie career," Seinfeld continued.
He then went on to make his usual middle-of-the-road anti-PC argument.
"We have been navigating these slalom gates forever," Seinfeld said. "Look, when I started out, there were dirty comedians-Well, if you want to get on The Tonight Show, you can't use any of those words. And a lot of us went, 'OK. I still want to play. I'll play.' Heres a new rule, we're cutting this out. 'Ok. I'll get around that.' So, that's our thing. It's like Lindsey Vonn: wherever you put the gates, I'm going to make them."
Seinfeld is carefully playing both sides here once again. And again, he's wrong. For Seinfeld, defending the bounds of comedy is more important than defending the people these comedians harm with their words or actions. His is an antiquated view of comedy, one that doesn't see how society has progressed in recent years. And once again, Seinfeld is coming at this situation from the point of view of an entertainer with his own disturbing past.
It might seem like Seinfeld is playing it safe in his defense of Hart, but his carefully chosen words have weight. And given his power in comedy-and entertainment as a whole-it's important to note who he's really defending here, and why he's doing it.
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