By: Shaline Mahadeo
These first few weeks in the new year are always hard to get through, but the awards season always seem to make it a little more bearable. Be it the Golden Globes, the Grammys or Oscars, our television screens and social media feeds are always buzzing about the shows’ best jokes, roasts, hottest fashion and, of course, the big winners and losers of the night. This season, one story has dominated the news, and it involves Kevin Hart’s controversy with hosting the 2019 Oscars.
The controversy began shortly after he announced he would be hosting the A-list event, when a series of Hart’s homophobic tweets from 2009 resurfaced. Hart claims that the comments were simply jokes, spoken at a time when he had a different mentality, but the internet was not having it. Needless to say, people are outraged and offended by his insensitive words, but even more so with how he is addressing (or refusing to address) the issue. Mixed opinions were imminent, as in a strange twist, Ellen DeGeneres, perhaps the most outspoken advocate of LGBTQ rights, has said that she believes Hart should be forgiven. In the wake of it all, QC students are adding their opinions into the mix.
“The tweets were downright disturbing and reprehensible,” remarked junior political science major, David Reyes. It is not hard to see why people were annoyed by his words and that they sparked resentment from the LGBTQ community, political figures and other comedians, which led to Hart issuing an apology.
Backlash was fierce and many demanded he stepped down from hosting the 2019 Oscars. “The thing about apologies is that as much as it is for you, it’s for other people and if the apologies didn’t seem to be sufficient enough. Why didn’t he take the time to address this, instead of just being stubborn?” asked sophomore biology major, Ashley Gonsalez. “His apology was shameful,” said freshman accounting major, Elahie Baksh.
On Dec. 7th, 2018, Kevin Hart announced that he would not be hosting the event anymore and says that he is, “Sorry that [he] hurt people.” Then on Jan. 4th, 2019, Hart appeared on the Ellen Show, where Ellen defended him and asked the Academy to allow him to host again, citing that everyone deserves a second chance and that she feels that he is truly sorry. People were unhappy yet again, and Hart issued two more apologies, some say more heartfelt these times. He later confirmed on Jan. 9th, that he would not be hosting the show anymore.
With such a contentious debate, there are many opinions on whether or not Hart should be forgiven for his words even when he has admitted to his wrong and says that he too has “The ability to grow.” Hart seemed to keep taking more heat because of the way he words his apologies. People argue that they do not do enough to denounce homophobia and many feel that he is making himself the victim of this whole situation. Others argue that indeed, as human beings, we need to be more forgiving. Jason Lin, a sophomore physics major, details how, “This new thing of canceling celebrities when things like this happen shows that we’re more strict with celebrities than we are with people in our own personal lives,” and Andy Urbina, a freshman drama major, said “Forgiveness is not even necessary because the problem has already been addressed.”
All in all, with Hart’s confirmation that he will not host, the issue is still not out of the light. After 30 years, the Oscars this year will go on without a host, and audiences are curious to see how this goes and what, if any, tribute will be made for LGBTQ pride and equality.