Kevin Hart talks Oscars hosting scandal, alarming push to 'destroy' controversial comedians

Comedian Kevin Hart reflected on his past Oscars hosting scandal while lamenting the current culture to “destroy” controversial comedians rather than to simply not support them.

Hart was at the center of a major controversy in December when he backed out of hosting the 91st Academy Awards after his old social media posts that were homophobic resurfaced. He apologized soon after and stepped down as host.

In a recent interview on Joe Rogan’s podcast, Hart explained that the hardest part of the whole situation was not being able to explain to the many people that asked him why he dabbled in such controversial material.

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“They kept trying to look for this hard definition of ‘why.’ And it’s like, I don’t have it. I don’t have the reason why. I thought it would be funny and it wasn’t. That’s the downfall. That’s it,” he told Rogan.

Hart went on to say that he’s a comedian that made the conscious choice to be “sensitive to the times,” arguing that there are many comedians that would have doubled down on their bad jokes rather than step aside.

Kevin Hart opened up about the recent controversy that saw him step down as the 2019 Oscars host.

Kevin Hart opened up about the recent controversy that saw him step down as the 2019 Oscars host. (Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Hart says his conclusion from the Oscars debacle is that audiences are moving to a culture of trying to destroy the careers of comedians that they have the influence to drag through the court of public opinion.

“I think it’s easier to just say ‘I’m not a fan. That comedy isn’t for me,’” Hart said. “‘You know what, I don’t like the taste of this particular comedian, so I’m not going to support or watch that comedian. I’m going to find another comedian that’s more to my liking. I’m going to go and just turn my head.’ I want us to get back to understanding that you just don’t have to support it. That’s it.”

Hart concluded: “I don’t understand why there’s a push to destroy when you just don’t have to support or like.”

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The 39-year-old comedian’s posts resurfaced shortly after he announced himself as the 2019 Oscars host.

"Stop searching for reasons to be angry.... I swear I wish you guys could see/feel/understand the mental place that I am in," Hart captioned a response video at the time. “I am truly happy people ... there is nothing that you can do to change that ... NOTHING. I work hard on a daily basis to spread positivity to all ... with that being said. If u want to search my history or past and anger yourselves with what u find that is fine with me.”

Despite an initial attempt to downplay the controversy, the comedian announced just two days later that he was stepping down as the host.

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“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,” he tweeted at the time.