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Here’s why Twitter won’t just let the Kevin Hart homophobic tweet controversy go

The comedian’s recent apology didn’t impress users, and not even Don Lemon could excuse him.


Trixie Reyna


Posted on Jan 8, 2019   Updated on May 20, 2021, 10:01 pm CDT

Kevin Hart made headlines anew Monday night for apologizing to the LGBTQ community “again” for his past anti-gay tweets. “Once again, Kevin Hart apologizes for his remarks that hurt members of the LGBTQ community. I apologize,” he said on Straight From the Hart, his SiriusXM radio show. He continued, ”I am now moving on from this because I am hoping the apology is accepted. … I am not homophobic and never have been.”

USA Today calls it “a long-awaited” and “formal” apology (versus his initial Twitter apology) following his appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, where DeGeneres backed his reinstatement as Oscars host, to the displeasure of Twitter users.

Soon after, CNN host Don Lemon criticized the comedian’s comments on Ellen and challenged him to become an ally of the LGBTQ community. “Apologizing and moving on does not make the world a better place for people who are gay or people who are transgender. Being an ally does,” Lemon said during the segment.

However, on Monday’s CNN Tonight, the anchor seemed to let the comedian off the hook after speaking with him, with Variety even going so far as to say Lemon “defends” Hart, as he expressed, “He said, but it is not his dream to be an ally for the LGBT community. Now, you can take that however want. You can be upset by it. Whatever. However you want to feel. But that is his right. Whether I like it or not, whether you like it or not, that is his right.”

Lemon continued, “So listen to what he’s saying there. He wants to be accepted. He wants us to accept him. He wants to be embraced on his own merits. Isn’t that what the LGBT community wants? Isn’t that the same thing they were asking for, to be embraced on their own merits and not be stereotyped and stigmatized? So maybe … an olive branch in an effort to understand.”

However, Twitter is neither convinced by the apology nor willing to let this go, even after Lemon’s softened stance on the matter: “Kevin Hart is only ever an ally to himself. And money. His apologies are meaningless,” user @itsmeliane tweeted.

Twitter users continue to rally around this conversation. “Too many LGBT people grew up bullied, discriminated against and worse by people who thought it was acceptable to use the word fag … That’s why it’s important to call out people like Kevin Hart,” user Edward Hardy tweeted.

At the end of the day, it’s not about being too sensitive to edgy humor. There would be nothing to tolerate, brush off, or to use Lemon’s words, “embrace,” “accept,” or “understand,” if people never make homophobic comments like Hart’s in the first place. Maybe that should be the last word on the matter.

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*First Published: Jan 8, 2019, 7:55 am CST