Kevin Hart was dropped from the Oscars for previous homophobic comments.
In tweets between 2009 and 2011, Hart repeatedly used “gay” as a slur and, in a 2010 stand-up show, he told jokes about trying to stop his son being gay.
When he was asked to apologise to the LGBT+ community or step-down as the host of the event, Hart refused, claiming he had already addressed the issue.
On The Ellen DeGeneres Show this week, Hart spoke again about his decision to step down as Oscar host and listed examples which he believed showed he'd apologised for his comments.
I just said I’m going to walk away because I felt like it was a conversation that was just going to continue and continue and continue. I would much rather say I’m sorry again and walk away because I want to be done with the conversation.
I don’t want to have to have this conversation anymore because I know who I am. I’m not that guy.
But here’s the problem, Vulture investigated Hart's claim and couldn’t find evidence he had apologised before his comments resurfaced.
He had said he wouldn’t make jokes about LGBT+ people anymore and said it was “too dangerous” to make jokes about gay people in 2014.
Those statements do not count as an apology though, as they do not address that those past-comments were wrong.
When journalist Louis Virtel questioned him on whether jokes in his 2015 film Get Hard were homophobic, Hart tried to justify them like this:
I said to myself, 'This is funny.' And at the end of the day, funny is funny, regardless of what area it’s coming from.
I just look for the laugh, man, and the best way to get there.
On CNN, news anchor Don Lemon, who spoke about being gay in his 2011 memoir, said his fact-checkers also couldn’t find an apology.
"Apologizing and moving on does not make the world a better place for people who are gay or people who are transgen… https://t.co/LpjB2dsKBX— Don Lemon Tonight (@Don Lemon Tonight) 1546665421
He also had a powerful message for Hart:
We in the African-American community, we need to stop low-key co-signing homophobia. It is not cool and we won’t tolerate jokes that tell [LGBT] youth otherwise.
We need to talk about how people who may have messed up can become allies as well, because apologising and moving on does not make the world a better place for people who are gay or people who are transgender, being an ally does.
Kevin, no-one is against you. No-one said you should be fired or any of that. What they want is for you to bring light to this, to be an ally, so it’s your chance right now to do the right thing, to change minds, and possibly save lives.
In the TV clip, Lemon referenced statistics by the Centre for American Progress which show 44 per cent of homeless gay youth and 62 per cent of homeless transgender youth are black, despite black people only being 12 per cent of the US population.
Other black LGBT+ writers were also unimpressed by Hart’s “apology” and critical of DeGeneres for not challenging him during the interview.
I expected Ellen to actually ask Kevin Hart some sort of challenging question. Anything, really. But instead, it wa… https://t.co/pLNTiMhiDY— deray (@deray) 1546608454
This is absurd. Not only is he doubling down on the apology no one has ever found, he really thinks he is the victi… https://t.co/Pq6VucX9FM— George M Johnson (@George M Johnson) 1546609462
As a Black queer someone who, when my body began to manifest aspects of my identity even I was unaware of was punch… https://t.co/B7SbsSew33— Tre'vell Anderson (@Tre'vell Anderson) 1546617678
It was reported yesterday that the Oscars were open to Hart returning as a host if he wants the job.
You can watch Hart’s interview below:
I believe in forgiveness. I believe in second chances. And I believe in @KevinHart4real. https://t.co/oJxfGXhU4P— Ellen DeGeneres (@Ellen DeGeneres) 1546582719