Kevin Hart has called out the "negative side" of cancel culture and defended speaking up for his friends Ellen DeGeneres and Nick Cannon, after their recent separate controversies.
In an interview with Deadline about cancel culture, Hart said it’s important to be accountable for your actions, but that it should be a “teachable moment”.
If people [have done something] wrong, the idea of canceling those people, and ending whatever career or thing they have…If it’s just over, then what’s the teachable moment for them? What, it’s over, and then you can’t do nothing (sic) else for the rest of your life, because you made a mistake?
What happened to the days of making a mistake, learning from the mistake, not doing that, and educating others on what not to do because of your mistakes?
Then came the comedian’s defence of DeGeneres and Cannon.
While Cannon was recently let go by Viacom CBS and apologised after he made anti-Semitic remarks.
Hart defended his friends and empathised with their situations, having gone through his own controversies relating to old tweets in 2018.
I don’t lose sight of the definition of friendship… In my case, the [friendships] that are real are the ones that I’m always going to be adamant about speaking on behalf of. I know the people that both of them are, and knowing the people, all I can say is my experiences with those people.
Hart quickly added that his personal experiences of DeGeneres and Cannon don’t invalidate the accusations against them:
[My friendship with them] doesn’t mean that you have to disregard the things that others are saying. It means that I can just speak on my relationship with my friends. When it comes to Nick, and it comes [to] Ellen, I know who they are, and I know who they’ve been for the years that I’ve been around them, and I can only speak to that.
Those are two of the most amazing people that I know.
Kevin Hart came under fire in 2018 for a series of homophobic tweets he wrote between 2009 and 2011.
One joked about breaking a doll house over his son’s head because he thought he was gay, as well as a joke about calling someone’s profile picture a “gay billboard for Aids”.
While in his 2010 comedy special Seriously Funny, he joked about a young boy “grinding” on his son so he “panicked and knocked them both down”.
When the tweets and comedy special came to light in 2018, Hart apologised and stepped down as host of the Oscars.
He also appeared as a guest on Ellen's show to discuss how it all went down, saying:
I don't joke like that anymore because that was wrong. That was the guy that was just looking for laughs and it was stupid. I don't do that anymore.
During the interview, Ellen revealed she called the Academy to try to plead with them to re-hire Kevin Hart.