Page 28

ENTERTAINMENT

Kevin Hart Slams Closet Door Shut After forced apologies, controversial comedian rules out hosting gig rsial com BY MATT TRACY evin Hart is coming out — to tell you he won’t host the Oscars. The disgraced comedian concluded his self-inflicted month-long trail of homophobia on January 9 when he officially declared he would not host the Academy Awards next month — and he doesn’t want you to ask him about it, either. “I’m not hosting the Oscars this year,” Hart said on “Good Morning America.” “I want everyone to know I’m done with it. It’s a choice that I’ve personally made to say I’m not addressing it anymore.” Hart already backed out of his role as host of the annual event after he refused to apologize for homophobic comments dating back to 20092011, when he used gay slurs and threatened to use violence against his son for playing with dolls. He finally apologized after he was cornered by public outcry, but when fellow comedian Ellen DeGeneres prodded him to reconsider the hosting gig, he vowed to think it over. And although Hart put an end to speculation, it was never clear whether the Oscars organizers would have allowed him back in the fold.

K

“GOOD MORNING AMERICA”/ T WIT TER

Kevin Hart speaks to “Michael Strahan” on “Good Morning America” on January 9.

Hart, seemingly irritated, didn’t provide a direct answer when “Good Morning America” host and former Giants star Michael Strahan asked him if he understood how the comments could have impacted LGBTQ youth. “I have an understanding that I’ve addressed it, and I’ve said everything that I can possibly say,” Hart said in response. “So I’m over it.” Several days earlier, the comedian made a bizarre statement in the third person on his Sirius XM radio show when he said, “Once again, Kevin Hart apologizes for his remarks that hurt members of the LGBTQ community. I apologize.”

Almost every time Hart discusses his comments, he has tried to justify them or complain that he is being targeted. “We thought it was okay to talk like that, because that’s how we talked to one another,” he said. Hart has even turned the issue around by suggesting that those who take call him out are the ones who have an issue. “I love to love,” Hart said to Strahan. “If you don’t see that, then that means it’s a problem with you. I have nothing else to prove.” Hart’s handling of the situation strays from other cases of people offering sincere apologies before taking concrete action with the LGBTQ community. Former Knicks star Tim Hardaway, on a 2007 radio show, said, “I hate gay people,” but he apologized, went on to work with The Trevor Project, and was the first to sign a petition to legalize same-sex marriage in Florida. Responding to out gay CNN anchor Don Lemon’s suggestion that Hart could similarly become an ally to the community, the comedian said, “That’s not my life dream.” The Academy, which has not announced its alternative plans without Hart, did not reply to an inquiry from Gay City News.

Billy Porter Slams Kevin Hart, DL Hughley The “Pose” star said he is “done” one with the sta stars’ “toxic masculinity” BY MATT TRACY ose” star Billy Porter sent a stern message to Kevin Hart and DL Hughley after they showed insensitivity in the face of criticism over past homophobic comments: “Fuck you. We’re done.” Hart became embroiled in controversy last month after he initially refused to apologize for years-old homophobic comments, which led to his ousting as the host of the 2019 Oscars awards ceremony. He went on to apologize after stepping down from his hosting gig, but the damage had been done. Hughley, an actor and radio personality, stormed to Hart’s defense on Twitter. “A Comedian says something that offends people and refuses to apologize?” he asked. “What do I say? … Fuck em if they can’t take a joke!” After Hughley drew criticism from Indya Moore, a transgender black woman who also stars on “Pose,” he called her a “pussy.” Porter waited for the right opportunity to pounce on the Hughley and Hart for their com-

“P

28

DONNA ACETO

Broadway star Billy Porter (“Kinky Boot”) gives an award to Pride Media in October.

bination of homophobia and sexism, blasting them in a December interview with Consequence of Sound for thinking “they don’t need to apologize for shit and dig their heels in their toxic masculinity.” Porter, who recently earned a Golden Globes nomination for his role as Pray Tell in “Pose,” made it clear in his interview that he wanted to “get into this Kevin Hart thing for just a second.”

“But you want your rights!” Porter continued. “You want people to stop shooting your children in the back? But yet still, you turn around and oppress other people the same way you’re being oppressed.” The older homophobic comments at the heart of the issue stemmed from 2009-2011 when Hart called celebrities “gay” and “fag” in nowdeleted tweets and threatened to use violence against his son if he played with dolls. Hart noted in a tweet on December 7 — one day after he issued a non-apology on Instagram — that he was opting to step down from the Oscars “because I don’t 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,” he said. Porter has spent more than two decades in the entertainment industry as a stage performer, singer, and actor. In 2013, he earned a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical and Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical after he starred as Lola in “Kinky Boots.” January 17 - January 30, 2019 | GayCityNews.nyc

Profile for Schneps Media

Gay City News - January 17, 2019  

January 17, 2019

Gay City News - January 17, 2019  

January 17, 2019