In an interview on Sunday Today With Willie Geist, Seinfeld weighs in on Hart stepping down as the host of the Academy Awards after his homophobic tweets and jokes, made between 2009 to 2011, resurfaced. He says that after the smoke clears Hart will “be fine.”
“Kevin is in a position, because he’s a brilliant comedian, to kind of decide what he wants to do,” Seinfeld said about Hart voluntarily giving up the gig. “He doesn’t have to step down, but he can.”
Seinfeld went on to suggest that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) and ABC, which will air the broadcast, ultimately will lose out.
“When you look at that situation, well, who got screwed in that deal?” the Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee host said. “I think Kevin’s going to be fine, you know? But find another Kevin Hart? That’s not so easy. He’s a brilliant guy with a movie career.”
Seinfeld also pointed out that comedians have long been dealing with these types of controversies. “Most of the time comedians, we are expected to be the most agile in terms of how we think and construct our thoughts and what comes out of our mouth,” he said. “We have been navigating these slalom gates forever.”
As the controversy unfolded last week, Hart initially refused to apologize for his comments, which included how he’d break a dollhouse over his son’s head if he caught him playing with one and would tell the toddler, “Stop, that’s gay.” After he stepped down, amid pressure from what he described as “internet trolls,” he tweeted that he was sorry.
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
Seinfeld isn’t Hart’s only supporter — Nick Cannon has been one of the most vocal ones, digging up and posting perceived homophobic tweets from famous female comedians, including Amy Schumer, Chelsea Handler and Sarah Silverman. However, it was pointed out that the women are all very public LGBTQ supporters, and Hart hasn’t been.
Terry Crews, who described Hart as a “brother,” said he was “thankful” that Hart “acknowledged things that maybe weren’t right” and predicted: “He’ll come back from this. We do have to admit our guilt and say, ‘Hey, I messed up and let’s fix this thing.’ I think that he will do that, and he has always done that.”
Both Cedric the Entertainer and D.L. Hughley, who got into it with Pose star Indya Moore on Twitter to defend Hart, showed their support.
I think jokes are jokes and no one is above them nothing more nothing less
— DL Hughley (@RealDLHughley) December 7, 2018
Even Hart’s ex-wife, Torrei Hart, spoke up, insisting that he’s not homophobic.
The Academy has not yet announced a replacement for Hart — and they may never. Variety reports that an option being tossed around is not having any host and instead using “a bunch of huge celebs, something [Saturday Night Live] style, and buzzy people” to lead the show. The Oscars will air February 10.
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