Forgive me for minimizing Kevin Hart’s Oscar debacle with a petty analogy, but the man reminds me of every guy I’ve ever dated who is allergic to apologizing. So allergic in fact that he says things like, “I’m sorry IF I offended you,” or “How many times are you going to mention the same thing. I’ve already apologized.” Lastly, “Can’t we just focus on the future, not the past?” When combined with fame, social media, and the a rightfully offended LGBTQ+ community, it gets even worse.
Hart took the hot seat with Ellen DeGeneres, which is an understandable platform. DeGeneres supports Hart and has advocated for his return as host. While I agree that people have the right to learn and grow from their mistakes, those mistakes can only be forgiven when the person is actually sorry. And it’s up to Hart to convince the public that he’s actually sorry. Judging by the twitterverse’s response to Hart’s interview, they STILL question his contrition.
In the clip below you will see Hart discuss his original strategy, which entails a series of PR mistakes. First, he chose to ignore the controversy in hopes that it would simply go away. Second, he felt his past apologies were enough. Speaking of those apologies, I did some google sleuthing into his 2015 apology, and it does not hold up. Though he initially said, “The funny thing within that joke is it’s me getting mad at my son because of my own insecurities — I panicked. It has nothing to do with him, it’s about me.” He doubled-down in vain, saying:
“I wouldn’t tell that joke today, because when I said it, the times weren’t as sensitive as they are now. I think we love to make big deals out of things that aren’t necessarily big deals, because we can. These things become public spectacles. So why set yourself up for failure?”
There’s no question that Kevin Hart is a defensive guy. He doesn’t want to be told what to do, and if you dare do so, he will dig in his heels. One apology should be enough and if the big bad boys at the Academy are going to demand something he doesn’t want to do, much like his Sony-social-media stance, he won’t do it. While I agree that an individual must be sorry to be forgiven, I also think some people just are not capable of conveying their inner monologue. Isn’t it possible he’s actually sorry and unable to say it without sounding like a jerk with his back against the wall?