Kevin Hart has denounced cancel culture.
In a new interview with The Sunday Times, the comedian claimed to have been canceled several times during his career but said he "personally doesn't give a s---" about it.
"If somebody has done something truly damaging then, absolutely, a consequence should be attached," Hart said. "But when you just talk about… nonsense? When you're talking, 'Someone said! They need to be taken [down]!' Shut the f--- up! What are you talking about?"
Hart faced criticism in 2019 after tweets and stand-up material emerged in which he used homophobic phrases. As a result, he stepped down from hosting the Oscars. Hart apologized to the LGBTQ community but later revealed in an Instagram video that, when presented with an ultimatum from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences that stated he either apologize or make way for a new host, he opted for the latter.
"[They] basically said, 'Kevin, apologize for your tweets of old or we're going to have to move on to find another host,'" Hart said. "I chose to pass, I passed on the apology. The reason why I've passed is that I've addressed it several times."
There have been other incidents during which Hart also came under fire, but he told The Sunday Times he was not "bothered" by it.
"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 added that the fear of being canceled had left comics reluctant to express themselves.
"You're thinking that things you say will come back and bite you on the ass," he said. "I can't be the comic today that I was when I got into this."
Chris Rock also took a stand against cancel culture recently, which he said was negatively impacting the industry.
During an appearance on Power 105.1’s "The Breakfast Club," he pointed out that, in regards to comedy, having an audience not laugh at a comedian's jokes was enough to send a clear message to them that they are not funny.
"You don’t really have to cancel us, ‘cos we get the message — they’re not laughing! … When we do something and people aren’t laughing, we get it," Rock said, adding that he did not understand why people felt the need to go "beyond that" because it was "disrespecting the audience."
"Like, 'oh you think you know more than the audience' ... the audience knows more than everybody," he said.
Not allowing comedians to work creates an environment where "everybody gets safe," Rock noted. As a result, they are not prepared to try anything new, and that is when "things get boring."
"I see a lot of unfunny comedians, I see unfunny TV shows, I see unfunny awards shows, I see unfunny movies — because everybody’s scared to make a move," he said.
"And that’s not a place to be … Now you got a place where people are scared to talk," Rock continued, saying it was bizarre, "especially in America."
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