Yesterday, actor Kevin Hart tweeted his “prayers” for Jussie Smollett, the Empire actor who was the victim of a horrifying racist and homophobic hate crime earlier this week.
Sending prayers your way @jussiesmollett ….This is unbelievably sad. Why are we going backwards….this is disgusting. We as people have to do better. WTF is going on the world???? Why… https://t.co/G6vCnKPEhf
— Kevin Hart (@KevinHart4real) January 30, 2019
But people on Twitter weren’t having it.
The problem is that Hart has a history of making violent, homophobic comments. In tweets from 2009 to 2011, he used “gay” and “fag” pejoratively.
He also tweeted that he would hurt his son if the son wasn’t masculine enough: “Yo if my son comes home & try’s 2 play with my daughters doll house I’m going 2 break it over his head & say n my voice stop that’s gay.”
Hart stepped down from the Oscar hosting gig and has offered several apologies in the past month that have been criticized, both for being weak and for his concurrent criticism of LGBTQ advocates as people who “slandered” him and took away his “fun.”
People immediately pointed out that maybe Hart should acknowledge the impact his words had.
Do you see why the “jokes” weren’t funny now??
— Bethany (@niale_west) January 30, 2019
This is why someone’s jokes about beating their gay son were never funny
— Ira Madison III (@ira) January 29, 2019
Pseudo Sympathy. Just stop
— Mychal Coleman (@DaedalusUnbnd) January 30, 2019
This is your reminder that Kevin Hart was given a publicity tour to declare that being an ally to LGBTQ folks is not his life's goal or dream and that he's done apologizing. This is your reminder that his jokes reflect actual attitudes that produce what happened to Jussie.
— Dana (@DanaVivianWhite) January 29, 2019
Earlier this month, Hart appeared on The Ellen Degeneres Show. He was not contrite, painting himself the victim of unfair attacks on social media.
Ellen attempted to absolve him, calling his critics “haters” and insisting he host the Oscars even though he didn’t give any indication that he understood why his comments were so harmful.
So Ellen also got some feedback when she tweeted “love” to Smollett.
Four years ago, @JussieSmollett came out on my show. I’m sending him and his family so much love today. ❤️
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) January 29, 2019
Really inserting your show here? It’s just sad. What about the guy who joked about beating his kid if they were gay that you forgave for all of us? Jokes like that make this type of violence possible. You’re part of the problem Ellen
— Judah Robinson (@judah_robinson) January 30, 2019
Ellen, sit down. You’re using your whiteness, privilege & platform all wrong. Again.
Last time you said it was time to listen. It’s apparent you didn’t listen to any voice other than your own.
— LJ (@J45Elissa) January 30, 2019
If you really want to send love to Jussie and his family, issue a public apology for having Kevin Hart on your show and failing to hold him accountable for his homophobia. You don't get to talk out of both sides of your mouth.
— Celia Laskey (@seabass5555) January 30, 2019
You should invite his attackers so you can absolve them of guilt on our 🌈 behalf! I’m sure they’d love to host the Oscars…🙄
— MJ Murphy (@emjaymurphee) January 30, 2019
On Monday night, two white men attacked Smollett in Chicago, beating him, pouring bleach on him, and tying a noose around his neck.
Smollett told police that the assailants said, “Aren’t you that faggot ‘Empire’ n*****?”
He also said that one of the attackers said, “This is MAGA country” according to the Wall Street Journal.
Chicago police have said that the FBI is helping with the investigation into the attack.