Kevin Hart concedes he handled very badly the backlash over old old anti-gay tweets that surfaced last year after he was selected to host the 2019 Oscars ceremony ― and that led to him deciding to give up the February gig.
The comedian addresses the controversy in a new Netflix series, “Kevin Hart: Don’t F―k This Up,” that documents his past year including the controversy that arose after he refused to apologize for the anti-gay sentiments, homophobic terminology and slurs he posted on Twitter in 2010 and 2011.
“What I thought was going to blow over ended up becoming a bigger mess than I expected,” he said on the show, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Hart originally responded to critics on social media by saying, “stop looking for reasons to be negative ... Stop searching for reasons to be angry.” He also chose not to apologize for tweeting that a fellow actor looked “like a gay billboard for AIDS,” and that he’d tell his son “Stop, that’s gay” if he caught him playing with a dollhouse.
In the Netflix series, cameras following Hart show his publicist trying to reason with him, and suggesting he needed to take a “humility pill.”
“He needs to just shut up and put his head down for the next few weeks,” the publicist said. “What he needs to remember is he’s feeding 50-60 people. When he takes a shitter, everybody takes a shitter and that’s a big issue now.”
The series shows Hart setting up an emergency meeting with his team nine days after he had stepped down as Oscars host in early December of 2018, but saying he didn’t want to comment publicly on the controversy out of fear that it would be “making it OK to go backward.”
He tried to smooth things over on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” in January, but his “if I hurt anyone” tone didn’t do him any favors.
“What I thought was going to blow over ended up becoming a bigger mess than I expected,” Hart said on the Netflix show. “Everybody is telling me my approach is wrong. ... There’s a lot of cooks in the kitchen but there’s only one person in the hot water.”
An appearance on “Good Morning America” where he responded to questions about the controversy by saying, “I’m over it,” didn’t help.
“What I thought that was going to do, it did not do. The complete opposite happened,” he said on the Netflix show.
In hindsight, Hart expressed regret for his handling of the whole situation.
“I missed an opportunity to say simply that I don’t condone any type of violence in any way, shape or form to anyone for being who they are,” he said. “I fucked up. ... Instead, I said, ‘I addressed it.’ I said, ‘I apologized.’ I said, ‘I talked about this already.’ I was just immature.”