This past week, Kevin Hart went from being on top of the world to defending his former words. In case you missed it, Hart was tapped to host the Oscars in 2019, however, that dream of his came crashing down after some old homophobic tweets were brought to light. In no way am I defending Hart, but I am going to ask a controversial question – can people change? Or maybe the way that we should be looking at this is whether or not people can evolve. The bigger question that we need to come to terms with is whether or not we can accept a person’s past actions, and leave them in the past. Or is it – once a bad person, always a bad person?
If I’m being honest, I think that we need to give people the benefit of the doubt. I say that knowing full well that there are people out there who can’t change, and who never will. But as humanity, shouldn’t we put the positive thoughts into the world that they can change? Maybe I’m naive. Or maybe I just see through rose-colored glasses, but I do think that its easy to write someone off for the bad things that they’ve done. That’s just an easier task than actually forgiving them or emphasizing with them.
Let’s get back to Kevin Hart though. Hart’s anti-gay ideology wasn’t exactly a secret before now. In fact, part of his 2010 stand-up special was Hart describing his terror of what it would be like if his son turned out to be gay. His intentions in his stand-up special were to prevent it however he could There are two ways you can look at this – is he saying that he’s homophobic and doesn’t want his son to be gay? Or is he saying that it’s not the life he would want for his son because of all the homophobic people and systems out there? And let me stress the latter for a moment. It wasn’t until 2015 that the Supreme Court struck down all states’ ban on same-sex marriage. Now I’m not defending Hart, that’s not my job. But what I do think is my job is to get people to think differently. Or consider another perspective.
As I said, the bigger question is not whether or not there’s an issue with Hart’s original comments, but whether or not we can forgive him for saying these things, and if we, as society, think he could change. What I don’t have is any real way of knowing what Hart believes. But what we can point to is the fact that he didn’t automatically apologize. In fact, he doubled down on his original comments in a way that suggests maybe he can’t, or hasn’t changed. Brian Rafferty reported on Hart’s comments, which I think kind of sums up what happened:
In an Instagram post from that morning, Hart appeared bratty, defensive, and completely dismissive of the growing pushback (he also seemed kind of drowsy, possibly because he filmed it from a bed). “Our world is becoming beyond crazy,” Hart complained, “and I’m not gonna let the craziness frustrate me … if you don’t believe people change, grow, evolve as they get older, [then] I don’t know what to tell you.” In the accompanying caption, he wrote, “If u want to search my history or past and anger yourselves with what u find that is fine with me. I’m almost 40 years old and I’m in love with the man I am becoming.”
Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, and they’re certainly entitled to voice those within the parameters of the social networking platforms that they choose to use. If Hart truly felt that he no longer felt that way, perhaps he should have taken those down before it became an issue. Or in the least, pointed it out long before this came to light. Hart has had some amazing success in his career over the last couple of years, but he’s also had some big personal scandals. No one is perfect, and I’m not really sure I know the answer to this one. Just some food for thought to get the week started.