"American Horror Story" and "Pose" star Billy Porter had harsh words when asked about Kevin Hart stepping down from hosting the Oscars due to backlash over his alleged homophobic past material — and Hart's refusal to apologize for his past jokes.
Hart's controversial material included bits about hoping his son doesn't grow up to be gay, as well as old tweets using homophobic slurs. When the Academy reportedly requested he apologize for the remarks, he opted out, saying in an Instagram video, "I chose to pass. The reason I passed because I've addressed this several times. I've said where the rights and wrongs were. I've who I am now versus who I was then."
"People think that words don't matter. I'm going to get into this Kevin Hart thing for just a second. Because it's not about you having a joke. That's not what it’s about," Porter, 49, fumed to Consequence of Sound. "I've seen people and I've heard people who are not homophobic who do gay jokes. And you can tell that they're not homophobic."
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Porter explained that other comedians can use homosexual themes in their material without being homophobic.
"I think Mo'Nique, a long time ago, she did a joke about butt sex. It was a whole thing about butt sex and 'the gays,' you know. And the punchline was something like, 'Yeah, but don't knock it till you try it!' And then we must stop the person who we know is using a joke, but she's not a homophobic person," he said.
"She's not saying, 'If I come home and my four-year-old son is playing with a baby doll house, I’m gonna break it over his head and tell him it's gay.' That crosses a line," he continued. "Because that allows your fans to think that [you can] hit somebody because you don't like them. You don't like their sexuality, 'so I can bash you in the head.' We're not doing that anymore."
Porter said that part of what made his series "Pose" successful was the empowerment it provided to the LGBTQ community, especially in light of the conservative administration.
"It's march-into-the-streets time! We have an administration that thinks that it can, with a sentence, erase a whole group of people. And we're not going to do anything about it? Transgender people don’t exist? F—k that," he said. "I say to Kevin Hart, and I say to D.L. Hughley, I say to those people who think that they don't need to apologize for s—t and dig their heels in their toxic masculinity: But you want your rights! You want people to stop shooting your children in the back? But yet still, you turn around and oppress other people the same way you're being oppressed. F—k that. F— you. We're done."