Kevin Hart slammed for sending prayers to Jussie Smollett; critics cite homophobic tweets
The comedian took to social media to offer his support for the actor in the wake of the attack against him, but many are still angered over his recent controversies
Celebrities far and wide have come to the defense of Jussie Smollett and offered encouraging words of support after a hateful and violent attack.
Kevin Hart also sent supportive sentiments the Empire star’s way but was called out and criticized with many still angered over homophobic jokes that have recently dogged him into stepping down as host of the Oscars, PEOPLE reports.
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Sending prayers your way @jussiesmollett ….This is unbelievably sad. Why are we going backwards….this is disgusting. We as people have to do better. WTF is going on the world???? Why are we falling in love with hate???? God damn it people….Choose love…I repeat…Choose love. I will forever choose love and I will continue to teach my kids how to do the same. Stand strong brother
Hart was blasted for old homophobic jokes and found himself in the middle of controversy He has apologized several times, and has made several appearances on shows like “Good Morning America” and “Ellen” in which comedian Ellen DeGeneres encouraged him to consider hosting the Oscars. But the internet was far less forgiving and continued to remind him of the jokes, insisting the impact lingered.
TV writer Ira Madison III was among the first to come down on Hart.
Another Twitter user echoed him:
Do you see why the “jokes” weren’t funny now??
— Bethany (@niale_west) January 30, 2019
Given what we’ve seen so far, I fully expect the men who attacked Jussie Smollett to score a sit-down interview with Ellen at some point in the next few weeks. Maybe it will be a roundtable discussion with Kevin Hart.
— Saeed Jones (@theferocity) January 29, 2019
“This is your reminder that his jokes reflect actual attitudes that produce what happened to Jussie,” wrote another.
For Black LGBTQ folks processing this news about Jussie:
– it's okay to disengage because you're triggered.
– your fear or anger is justified.
– you don't have to comment online or off.
– you have the right to defend your life.
– take whatever you need as you process.
— Dana White (@ItsDanaWhite) January 29, 2019
Though they were few, Hart did have his defenders as well.
Stop with the you should not of to Kevin he has apologized more than once and not in the same place anymore. Oh and prayer is always in order.
— karen johnson (@kjboojohnson) January 30, 2019
If we were all held accountable and were attacked every day on something we said years ago, it wouldn’t be fair. He’s apologized and moved on. So thanks Kevin for the kind words! This is now. Not then…. Get well @JussieSmollett #movingforward #newday #loveislove
— Jabari Thomas (@Jabari_WTSP) January 30, 2019
Agreed. He apologized a couple of times ( actually using the words I apologize) on his podcast Straight from the Hart. Only, some folks will reject and outright lie that he didn’t simply because. Don’t believe the hype. I’m with you, JT.
— Danee Riggs (@DaneeRiggs) January 30, 2019
According to Chicago police, Smollett was walking out a Subway eatery in Chicago early Tuesday at around 2 a.m. when someone yelled “Aren’t you that f***ot Empire n*****?”
That’s reportedly when two suspects wearing ski masks screamed “This is MAGA country!” A noose was wrapped around Smollett’s neck, and he was beaten to the point that a rib was fractured.
According to That Grape Juice, Fox Studios received hate mail earlier this month targeted to the 36-year-old actor. Cut out letters from magazines spelled out “You will die black f**.”
Empire creator Lee Daniels sounded off about the brutal attack on Instagram.
“You didn’t deserve nor anybody deserves to have a noose put around your neck, to have bleach thrown on you, to be called ‘die f–got n–ga’ or whatever they said to you. You are better than that. We are better than that. America is better than that. It starts at home. It starts at home, yo.”
“We are deeply saddened and outraged to learn that a member of our EMPIRE family, Jussie Smollett, was viciously attacked last night. We send our love to Jussie, who is resilient and strong, and we will work with law enforcement to bring these perpetrators to justice. The entire studio, network and production stands united in the face of any despicable act of violence and hate — and especially against one of our own.”
The Chicago Police Department said they are currently investigating as a hate crime but no video footage has surfaced just yet.