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Kevin Hart has been tapped to host the 2019 Academy Awards, which could shape up to be the most diverse to date, with many films featuring LGBT characters being honored. And as the internet reacts to the news, an old “joke” the comedic actor made — about not wanting his son to be gay — is being recirculated.
In Hart’s 2010 comedy special Seriously Funny, he did a bit that had him saying that his “biggest fear” was his son “growing up and being gay.” He said, “Keep in mind, I’m not homophobic. I have nothing against gay people. Be happy. Do what you want to do. But me, as a heterosexual male, if I can prevent my son from being gay, I will.” He then launched into stories about his son, then 3, having his first gay moment with a friend and how he needed to “nip it in the bud” by screaming at him, “Stop, that’s gay!” Hart has since spoken about the joke, telling Rolling Stone in 2015 that it was really about his “own insecurities” as a parent, again reiterating he’s not homophobic and saying he “wouldn’t tell that joke today, because when I said it, the times weren’t as sensitive as they are now.”
Here was the bit:
But with Hart the face of the show in a year that could be an “LGBT Oscars bonanza,” some people are asking whether he is the best pick. Here are some of the comments raising the issue:
Again, Hart has spoken about the joke more than once since. In 2017, he told Parade, “I had one gay joke in my career and it was about my son at a birthday party, and it was before things got as P.C. as they are now.” As for the backlash, “I get it,” Hart said. “At the end of the day, people are people, attacking is attacking.”
He ended by saying unequivocally, “[Obviously,] there’s nothing wrong with being gay.”
Reps for both Hart and the academy haven’t yet responded to Yahoo Entertainment’s request for comment. However, Hart is used to criticism, and we expect that he’s not completely surprised by remarks aimed at him after landing this super-high-profile gig, a dream come true for the star. In fact, just the other day he wrote on Twitter, “Why is it so hard for people to find better things to do than being negative….Being angry is easy…Finding happiness within yourself is what’s tuff…I challenge everyone to find happiness in YOURSELF. F*** negativity.” And, following the hosting announcement, he replied to a fan who said it’s hard to look past the negativity, by writing, “That’s what makes the winning more fun.”
Last week, Hart was given a hard time over throwing his younger son a cowboys-and-Indians-themed first birthday. He addressed the topic, but didn’t apologize to those who felt the party was culturally insensitive. He actually did the opposite, saying the controversy “shows just how stupid our world is becoming with opinions. People are at a point of an all-time high. To throw racial judgment into the development of a 1-year-old’s birthday party where the theme is cowboys and Indians?” He called the whole topic “dumb s***.”
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