Kevin Hart says he learnt ‘necessary’ lesson from homophobic joke backlash

A portrait image of Kevin Hart smiling.

Kevin Hart has reflected on the homophobic jokes that cost him his hosting spot at the 2019 Oscars.

The criticism the comedian and actor received for a series of homophobic posts he wrote between 2009 and 2012 was “a come-to-Jesus moment,” he admitted to The Wall Street Journal.

“Sometimes it’s OK to take a step back and be educated,” the 44-year-old said. “I got a crash-course. It was one that was necessary and needed.”

The posts included one where Hart said if he ever spotted his son playing with a dollhouse, he would “break it over his head and say: ‘Stop, that’s gay’.”

In other posts, he called gay people “f*gs” and mocked lesbians.

After being announced as the host for the Oscars, Hart stepped down in late 2018, saying in a post on Twitter/X that he did not want to “be a distraction on a night that should be celebrated by so many amazing talented artists”.

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The star added: “I sincerely apologise to the LGBTQ+ community for my insensitive words.”

Shortly after announcing his decision, Kevin Hart told Variety that he was hoping the Academy Awards would have him back at some stage.

Hart previously reflected on the controversy in 2021, saying he “doesn’t give a s**t about [cancel culture]”, adding: “I’ve been cancelled, what, three or four times? Never bothered.

“If you allow it to have an effect on you, it will. That’s not how I operate. I understand people are human. Everyone can change.”

It wasn’t the first time the Secret Life of Pets and Ride Along star has been criticised for making anti-LGBTQ+ comments. In 2010, he came under fire for saying one of his biggest fears was having a gay son.

“Keep in mind, I’m not homophobic… be happy. Do what you want to do. But me, as a heterosexual male, if I can prevent my son from being gay, I will,” he said.