Saturday, January 5, 2019

Don Lemon On Kevin Hart Debacle: "Stop Lowkey Cosigning Homophobia"

CNN's Don Lemon addresses the ongoing Kevin Hart/homophobia story

I've been conflicted watching this whole Kevin Hart kerfuffle on whether he should or shouldn't host the Oscars after homophobic tweets and jokes from some years ago resurfaced.

Yesterday, I posted a segment from Ellen DeGeneres' talk show where she implored Hart to reconsider hosting the Academy Awards saying she knows him, she knows he's grown as a person and she believes in him and his apology.

As you may recall, Hart was selected to host on December 4, but stepped down from the gig three days later in the aftermath of the homophobic tweets returned to the spotlight.

In the interview, Hart says, “It’s ten years old. This is stuff I’ve addressed. I’ve talked about this; this isn’t new. I’ve addressed it. I’ve apologized for it.”

Now, I believe we can change to some degree as we grow older. And I believe a good, straightforward apology is something to be accepted.

One sticking point I've had, though, is Hart saying he had apologized for his 'jokes' already and didn't want to keep doing so.

Out journalist Louis Virtel had this take on that statement:

But I couldn't find an actual apology in his history, other than the one he issued after he stepped down from the Oscar gig.

It turns out I'm not the only one.

CNN host Don Lemon, armed with some info via Vulture, took to the airwaves last night to weigh in on the issue now that Ellen had hosted Hart on her afternoon talk show and urged Hart to reconsider hosting the Oscars.

Lemon says he felt the need to address the issue as a member of both the LGBTQ and Black communities.

"These issues need to be addressed especially when it comes to black youth in our country. They need to know that they have value. And it's ok to be who they are.

"We in the African American community have to stop low-key cosigning homophobia. It is not cool. And we won't tolerate jokes that tell those youth otherwise.

"We need to talk about how some people who've messed up can become allies as well. Because apologizing and moving on does not make the world a better place for people who are gay or are transgender. Being an ally does."

Lemon also noted that LGBTQ homeless youth are disproportionately black, with black kids representing some 62% of homeless trans youth.

Lemon then contrasts Hart’s jokes about violence against a potentially gay son is especially harmful. "The truth is that is a reality for many little boys in the United States," said Lemon. "Somewhere, a black dad is beating his black son.”

Lemon also announced that the Oscars and ABC have now said they want Hart to host the Academy Awards if he signals he wants the job.

I'm not always the biggest fan of Lemon, but I think he has salient points here. Definitely worth the watching.

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