Kevin Hart, Nick Cannon and Comedy Censorship
So Kevin Hart stepped down as Oscars host just two days after the Academy announced he would take on the gig. The move came amid a mounting controversy after old tweets surfaced.
In a tweet, Hart officially withdrew from hosting the Oscars, a role he had long wanted to step into. “I have made the choice to step down from hosting this year’s Oscar’s….this is because I do not want to be a distraction on a night that should be celebrated by so many amazing talented artists. I sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past,” Hart wrote.
He added seconds later, “I’m sorry that I hurt people. I am evolving and want to continue to do so. My goal is to bring people together not tear us apart. Much love & appreciation to the Academy. I hope we can meet again.”
Earlier in the evening, Hart had posted an Instagram video from Sydney, Australia, where he is touring, saying that he had refused a demand from the Academy to apologize. He said the Academy gave him an ultimatum: Apologize for his old tweets or step down as Oscars host.
“I passed. The reason I passed is because I’ve addressed this several times. This is not the first time this has come up,” he said. “Regardless, to the Academy, I’m thankful for the opportunity, if it goes away, no harm, no foul,” Hart added.
Ironically, in giving up the hosting spot, Hart actually offered the apology that earlier he had refused to provide.
When do we know if the excuses are valid?
Is there any way to redemption?
There should be.
Nowadays people are more worried about looking for the evil of everything instead of looking for the best that exists, in addition, the distinction between comedy and real life begins to become smaller and smaller … it’s getting hard to find room for comedy at a time when we have “trigger words”, “Social Justice Warriors”, “believe all women”… the list is getting bigger and more and more preposterous. The groups that were oppressed are the ones wanting to be the oppressor now, and seem to not be willing to forgive. We are becoming more tribal and more prone to exclusion while being less aware of it as we go.
Nick Cannon appeared to leap to Kevin Hart‘s defense on Friday, in the wake of the star stepping down as the 2019 Oscars host. His defense, which comes amid criticism of Hart’s past homophobic tweets, included calling out female comedians, who had also used homophobic language on the social media platform.
So now we’re playing paper scissors rock with each other… The idea is now “you attacked a black comedian, I will attack a white female comedian”. We should rather use this to reinforce that firstly, these are years old tweets, some have already been contested before and in the case of some of Kevin Heart’s, addressed and others are mere jokes… that’s where the comedy boundaries come in…
Should there be limits to comedy?
In my opinion, no.
We need common sense and the notion that comedy can be as eclectic as cooking in the world, it is cultural and it is personal, each person will have their taste, their preference and their opinion. Some might like hot dogs, some might like roasted cockroaches, is there a right and a wrong here?
Instead of trying to create binary answers about right and wrong, black and white, male or female, we should understand that reasonable people can sense the difference between a joke and someone getting angry or really calling to action, this should be the limit, try to be funny.
What is funny for me might not be funny for you, but if the ultimate goal is to make you laugh, we should acknowledge that it is a joke, not an offense; Nowadays anything can be considered offensive, even the hand gesture for “Okay” is now related to the White Power movement (interesting that this arose from an online hoax).
We have to comprehend the following: In comedy, either is all within limits, or nothing is. Comedy is a reaction of what happens in society and should never be censored.
A lot of comedians are being censored, sometimes even by themselves.
We should be able to distinguish jokes from real life. Comedians are like jesters in a king’s court. “The jester was the only person who could tell the truth because he was beneath contempt….” Trickster figures emerge in times of crisis, and they point out what no one wants to see, and they say things that no one will say, daring us to think.
Censoring comedians is a really dangerous thing.
Comedy is comedy.
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