Kevin Hart Apologizes Again, Defends Past Jokes on SiriusXM Show
"Uh-oh, you're on that edge," Hart's friends say in the background of the segment as the comedian tries to explain himself.
As the controversy over Kevin Hart's past anti-gay tweets continues amid uncertainty over who will replace him as Oscars host this year, the comedian has issued another apology to the LGBTQ community on his SiriusXM radio show, Straight to the Hart. The show will air on Kevin Hart's Laugh Out Loud Radio Channel 96 on Monday evening.
“I will say this, and I want to make this very clear," the comedian said, acknowledging that his words have been "chopped up" following previous apologies. "Once again, Kevin Hart apologizes for his remarks that hurt members of the LGBTQ community. I apologize."
In the segment, Hart uncovered the original homophobic joke that landed him in trouble. Explaining that he had to unearth it to remind himself of the exact wording, he continued: "Here is how it starts off," he said, with his longtime collaborators in the room.
Quoting the joke, he said, “'I want to say that I have no problem with gay people. I don’t have a homophobic bone in my body. I want you to be happy, be gay, be happy.' And then I say as a heterosexual male, if I can do something to stop my son … that’s where the joke starts!" he argued.
"The only clip that I have seen all over the media is the one where I go, ‘stop! That’s gay.’" Hart's friends can be heard in the background, somewhat trying to stop this thought wave, "Uh-oh, you're on that edge," they joke.
"I really had to dive into the whole thing, even the tweets," Hart explained. “These weren’t words that I said to gay individuals. I didn’t say these words to people, at the time, this was our dumb asses on Twitter going back and forth with each other. We thought it was okay to talk like that, because that’s how we talked to one another. In that, you go, fuck! This is wrong now.”
Hart went on to acknowledge in more detail how the social landscape has changed. “Now we’re in a space where I’m around people of the LGBTQ community, and I’m now aware of how these words make them feel, and why they say ‘That sh*t hurt because of what I’ve been through.’"
"So then we say, ‘Hey, man, as a group, let’s erase this sh*t," Hart continued. "Hey, let’s not do this. We don’t post this shit on social media."
At this point, Hart joined the LGBTQ community in their fight for equality, suggesting that "acceptance for change" is necessary. "If the fight from the LGBTQ community is equality, that’s the fight. The fight is the will and want for equality. I’m riding with you guys. I understand you."
"But in the fight for equality, that means that there has to be an acceptance for change," Hart emphasized. "If you don’t want to accept people for their change, then where are you trying to get to the equal part? Where does the equality part come in?"
In the full episode, Hart explores the answer to his own question, suggesting that legitimate apologies for past behavior can sometimes be misconstrued and inferring that they have the potential to create an unproductive cycle of 'who said what,' questioning how the words themselves were said.
The bottom line, in Hart's words, comes down to "I think that in the times that we’re living in, we have to be understanding and accepting of people and change."
Hart was announced by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences as host of the 91st Academy Awards on Dec. 4 and he stepped down from the position two days later following backlash of his past homophobic remarks.
As the ceremony draws closer, street artist Sabo publicly showed support for Hart by posting fake Oscar posters around town on Sunday, some positioned strategically on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, that read, "The Oscars have no Hart," and included a picture of Hart with the Oscars statue and ABC logo.
Hart's latest tweet claims that the Straight from the Hart episode is "one you don't want to miss." It airs on the SiriusXM channel 96 at 4 p.m. PT.
This article was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter.