Kevin Hart claims he’s been canceled “three or four times” over his career in a new interview promoting his Netflix film Fatherhood.
Per The Sunday Times, Hart said he “personally doesn’t give a s—” about cancel culture, diving further into the subject with the outlet.
“If somebody has done something truly damaging then, absolutely, a consequence should be attached,” Hart said. “But when you just talk about… nonsense? ‘They need to be taken [down]!’ Shut the f— up! What are you talking about?”
The 41-year-old comedian has been criticized in the past about his tweets and stand-up including homophobic phrases that resurfaced ahead of the 2019 Oscars, Entertainment Weekly reports. He stepped down as host as a result, tweeting that he did not want to be a “distraction.”
He later said that he had declined an ultimatum from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the governing body in charge of the Oscars, to either apologize or make way for a new host, the outlet said. The Oscars aired that year without a host for the first time since 1989.
According to Entertainment Weekly, Hart said in an Instagram video, “[They] basically said, ‘Kevin, apologize for your tweets of old or we’re going to have to move on to find another host. I chose to pass, I passed on the apology. The reason why I’ve passed is that I’ve addressed it several times.”
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.— Kevin Hart (@KevinHart4real) December 7, 2018
As for his interview with The Sunday Times, Hart said he was never bothered by being canceled “three of four times.”
“When did we get to a point where life was supposed to be perfect?” he said. “Where people were supposed to operate perfectly all the time? I don’t understand. I don’t expect perfection from my kids. I don’t expect it from my wife, friends, employees. Because, last I checked, the only way you grow up is from f—ing up. I don’t know a kid who hasn’t f—ed up or done some dumb s—.”
Hart went on to say that comics can’t truly express themselves openly for fear of getting canceled. “You’re thinking that things you say will come back and bite you on the a–. I can’t be the comic today that I was when I got into this.” He added that people need to stop assuming comics have bad intentions, because “we forgot comedians are going for the laugh.”
As we reported last month, Seth Rogen shared Hart’s point of view saying, “I was never a comedian that made jokes that were truly designed to target groups that were subjugated in some way. Have we done that without realizing it? Definitely. And those things are in our movies and they’re out there, and they’re things that I am more than happy to say that they have not aged well.”
“You’re not saying something to make people angry,” Hart explained to The Sunday Times. “That’s not why I’m on stage. I’m trying to make you laugh and if I did not make you laugh I failed. That’s my consequence.”
Regarding his past tweets, Hart said people can “go ahead” and pull them up. “There is nothing I can do. You’re looking at a younger version of myself,” he said. “A comedian trying to be funny and, at that attempt, failing. Apologies were made. I understand now how it comes off. I look back and cringe. So it’s growth. It’s about growth.”