‘People change, grow, evolve as they get older’: Kevin Hart responds to backlash over homophobic tweets

Hart responded to the criticism Thursday on Instagram.


 

Kevin Hart has found himself on the wrong side of a number of problematic moments the last few weeks.

On Thanksgiving Day, he thought it would be a good idea to throw a “Cowboys and Indians” party, complete with guests culturally appropriating in Native American garb. He didn’t help matters by going on SiriusXM radio and arrogantly dismissing the blowback as “dumb sh*t.”

Now, his problematic behavior is on full display again when he attempted to power wash all of the homophobic tweets off his Twitter feed after he was named the host of next year’s Academy Award. Many of the tweets featured threats of violence and vile slurs.

He responded to the backlash Thursday in an Instagram post.

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“Guys — I’m almost 40 years old,” he said in an Instagram video. “If you don’t believe that people change, grow, evolve as they get older, I don’t know what to tell you. If you want to hold people in a position where they always have to justify or explain their past, then do you. I’m the wrong guy, man. I’m in a great place — a great mature place where all I do is spread positivity. If you’re not doing that, you’re not on my page.”

The backlash was sparked by tweets like this:

“Yo if my son comes home & (tries) 2 play with my daughters doll house I’m going 2 break it over his head & say n my voice ‘stop that’s gay,’” a now-deleted tweet from 2011 read.

Benjamin Lee, an editor for the Guardian, was the first to catch the anti-LGBT tweets.

https://twitter.com/benfraserlee/status/1070134637605867520

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He went on to write in the Guardian: “Hart has a rather vile history of documented homophobia, ranging from offensive standup clangers to dumb interview statements to puerile tweets to a whole embarrassing film filled with it.

BuzzFeed editor Adam Vary tweeted an entire scroll of homophobic tweets that Hart attempted to wipe from his feed:

https://twitter.com/benfraserlee/status/1070413541012893696

In a 2015 Rolling Stone interview, Hart defended his joke and contradicted himself when talking about fearing having a gay son and once again retreated to the idea that those who have issues with it are just being “sensitive.”

“It’s about my fear,” Hart said. ”I’m thinking about what I did as a dad, did I do something wrong, and if I did, what was it? Not that I’m not gonna love my son or think about him any differently.”

“I’d never apologize for what was never intended to be disrespectful — I’d never allow the public to win for something I know wasn’t malicious,” he added. “I think people take things so serious — you send out a tweet, and I’m not apologizing for that.”

He said he wouldn’t apologize. But he never said that he wouldn’t delete them when it could cost him a life-changing opportunity.