For decades comedian-actor-producer Kevin Hart has been a Hollywood box-office cash magnet.
Hart has starred in a string of successful films, including “Think Like a Man,” “Grudge Match,” “Ride Along,” “Ride Along 2,” “Central Intelligence,” and the “Jumanji” franchise.
In 2015 Time Magazine saw fit to include him on its annual Time 100 list as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
In his latest film release, “Fatherhood,” Hart expands his range of character portrayals by taking on the role of a man who struggles to raise his newborn baby girl all on his own, after his wife tragically passes away shortly after giving birth.
In addition to acting, the Hollywood A-lister has also had quite a bit of experience in hosting awards ceremonies. Two major ones in which he can boast include the 2011 BET Awards and the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards.
Following his 2012 MTV host experience, an optimistic Hart appeared to be looking forward to engaging in more work as an emcee, telling The New York Times, “Hopefully after MTV, of course we're talking Emmys, Oscars, whatever.”
A three-time “Saturday Night Live” host, Hart went on to co-host, along with Dwayne Johnson, the 2016 MTV Movie Awards.
Then in late 2018, he almost got to check another dream host gig off his wish list. It was announced that he would be the host of the 2019 Academy Awards.
The initial excitement over the announcement would be short-lived, though. The cancel culture wound up roaring into Hart's life in a fierce way.
After 48 hours of social media outrage over some eight-year-old tweets, Hart extricated himself from host responsibilities.
In January 2019, after receiving some strong support from previous Oscar host Ellen DeGeneres, he thought about reconsidering.
However, social media activists were not about to pull back on their attacks against him. Once again Hart announced that he would not be hosting.
The 2019 Academy Awards ceremony was ultimately held minus a host.
It was refreshing when Hart recently made the decision to weigh in on cancel culture. He made headlines for remarks made during an interview with the British Sunday Times.
“When did we get to a point where life was supposed to be perfect? Where people were supposed to operate perfectly all the time?” Hart asked. “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 [screwing] up. I don't know a kid who hasn’t [messed] up or done some dumb [things].”
According to Hart, because comics are too afraid of being cancelled, comedic arts have suffered a severe blow.
“You're thinking that things you say will come back and bite you on the [posterior],” he explained, pointing out that people often misunderstand the intent of comedy practitioners.
“There’s an assumption it's always bad and, somehow, we forgot comedians are going for the laugh,” he added.
News media and social media trolls summarily attacked and ridiculed Hart for daring to question the stifling effects of cancel culture. Strangely, many tried to do so by belittling the actor's success.
Hart used his Twitter account of 37 million followers to respond.
“I rarely talk s***… but I felt the need to today,” Hart posted. “Stop believing these headlines and read the actual articles … you guys fall for the banana in the tail pipe trick every d*** time.”
Social media saboteurs also attempted to claim that Hart is not effective at accomplishing the primary goal of a comedian; that is to simply make people laugh.
“The ‘He’s not funny’ slander is the best … I have been the highest grossing comedian in entertainment for years now … I have also been the highest grossing comedian in the box office with over 4 billion in earnings …,” Hart posted.
Hart's Christianity has no doubt helped to anchor him in troubled times.
In 2014, during an interview with Oprah Winfrey, he recalled a time early in his career when he was financially unable to pay his rent. He leaned upon Nancy, his faith-filled mother, for help. All she would say at the time was, “Have you been reading your Bible?”
A week went by and things looked like they were going from bad to worse. But Mom kept repeating the admonition, saying, “When you read your Bible, then we’ll talk about your rent.”
Reluctant at the time, the good son nevertheless complied.
“I go home and say, ‘Man let me open this Bible up,’” Hart explained to Winfrey. “Open the Bible up, six rent checks fell out. She put all my rent checks in the Bible.”
Hart would come to realize that more than mere rent had been paid. His Savior had paid his debt to God.
After a serious car accident in September of 2019, he expressed his profound gratitude to God for refocusing his life.
In a video post on Instagram that begins with news broadcast footage reporting the details of the accident, Hart narrates the post with some powerful and heartfelt words.
“When God talks, you gotta listen,” he says. “I swear, life is funny, because some of the craziest things that happen to you end up being the things you needed most.”
“In this case, I honestly feel like God basically told me to sit down,” he says. “When you're moving too fast and you're doing too much, sometimes you can't see the things that you're meant to see. But after my accident, I see things differently. I see life from a whole new perspective.”
Hart ends the video post with words we can all cling to, saying, “… I'm thankful for God. I'm thankful for life.”
James Hirsen, J.D., M.A., in media psychology, is a New York Times best-selling author, media analyst, and law professor. Visit Newsmax TV Hollywood. Read James Hirsen's Reports — More Here.
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