Weighing in on the controversy surrounding Dave Chappelle and his most recent Netflix special, The Closer, comedian Kevin Hart recently asserted that the phenomenon of cancel culture is “getting out of hand”.
Asked about Chappelle’s new Netflix special during a recent interview with The New York Times’ Dave Itzkoff, Hart wasted no time praising his fellow comedian.
“That’s my brother,” Hart told Itzkoff. “My relationship with Dave is one that I value, respect and appreciate. In our profession, it’s a crab-in-a-barrel mentality. There’s this perception that there can only be one star or one funny guy, and we’re always pitted against each other.”
The comedian added, “When you have that confidence and security to embrace another talent and stand by another talent, it says a lot about who you are. Chappelle’s operating at a different frequency, man, and I couldn’t be prouder of him.”
Itzkoff then brought up Chappelle’s mention of Hart in The Closer, asking the comedian whether he was concerned that this reference would reopen the Oscars 2019 controversy.
“In what world is a friend not going to be a friend if he wants to be a friend?” Hart explained. “With Dave, I think the media have an amazing way of making what they want a narrative to be. Within this conversation attached to Dave, nobody’s hearing what his attempt is.”
Hart further declard, “They’re hearing a narrative that’s been created. So the conversation is now amplified into something that has nothing to do with the beginning of what it was. That’s where it gets lost. Everybody needs to come down off the soapbox and get to a place of solution.”
Regarding people who were offended by Chappelle’s Netflix special, Hart stated that Chappelle is a good person that stands behind the LGBTQ+ community, claiming that Chappelle doesn’t “have a hateful bone” in him.
“That man don’t have a hateful bone in his body. And I don’t say that because it’s hypothetical — I say that because I know him,” said Hart. “I know his world. I know that he embraces the LGBT+ community, because he has friends who are close to him from that community.”
The comedian also explained that he knows that “[Chappelle’s] kids understand equality, fair treatment, love. I know that his wife embeds that in their kids. I know why people embrace him. He’s a good dude.”
Hart went on to explain that he feels as if there is no such thing as an insensitive joke, as even when people have every right to find a joke distasteful, as he believes such jokes are told in an “attempt to be funny.”
“You can’t say that. ‘It’s just a joke,’ right? I understand why people would want that to be the case. But it’s not the case. If there is a joke, there’s an attempt to be funny,” Hart elaborated, adding, “You can find a joke tasteful or distasteful. If you’re a supporter of a performer, then you’re probably OK with whatever’s happening. And if you’re not a fan, you’re infuriated and you’re outraged. Rightfully so — you have every right to be.”
“You also have a right to not support it. But the energy that’s put into wanting to change or end someone, it’s getting out of hand,” he concluded.
Briefly touching on his firing from hosting the Oscars in 2019, which was prompted by the deeming of his old comedy routines as homophobic by social justice warriors, Hart explained that he learned his lesson and has since apologised for his remarks.
“The difference in what I went through: I learned a lesson in ego,” said the comedian. “My ego blinded to me where I couldn’t see what the real thing was about. My ego had me thinking: You want me to apologize? I already did. This is 10 years ago. Why are you asking like this is me, now, when I said these things?”
He continued, “I was human. You can’t lose that. And that’s what happening today: We’re losing that in the attempt to say, ‘I’m right and you’re wrong and that’s it.’ I don’t understand how we ever evolve.”
In the wake of the Oscars controversy, Hart bent the knee to the woke mob, taking to social media to apologise for the comments he had made almost a decade earlier on his Seriously Funny stand-up special.
“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,” wrote the comedian at the time. “I sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past.”
What do you make of Hart’s comments on Dave Chappelle and cancel culture? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section down below or on social media.