Kevin Hart did not host the 2019 Oscars due to backlash for past tweets

Medha Prodduturi, Forum Editor

Everything we think and put onto the web has our name on it. What we tweet or post can either have a positive impact or have an adverse effect just as easily. However, for celebrities, the effect comes with large scale backlash from the public, their fans, and could potentially ruin their careers. For years now, exposing influencers for their past wrongdoings has been a way to show who they “really are” and act as a means to directly attack their present. But do such tweets and posts accurately reflect the person they are now?

A very recent example of this controversy is actor and comedian Kevin Hart. Hart’s homophobic tweets between 2009 and 2011 resurfaced the internet after he announced he would host the 91st Academy Awards. In one of the tweets Hart has since deleted, he said he would break his daughter’s dollhouse over his son’s head if he tried to play with it because “that’s gay.”

Since then, having to choose between stepping down from the Oscars and apologizing, Hart refused to apologize, complaining about people bringing up what he felt was old news. In a video posted on his Instagram, Hart claimed he had addressed the issue several times.

Hart’s pass on the apology wasn’t appreciated by many, including me. However, my views on this issue changed as I watched Hart on the Ellen show; Hart states in the show that he takes responsibility for his past actions and that he was at fault for his tweets.

He spoke about the impact the controversy had on him. “To go through 40,000 tweets to get back to 2008, that’s an attack,” Hart said. “That’s a malicious attack on my character. That’s an attack to end me.”

DeGeneres played down the criticism on Hart, saying, “Whatever is going on in the internet, don’t pay attention to them. That’s a small group of people being very loud. We are a huge group of people who love you and want to see you host the Oscars.”

Ellen’s forgiveness gave me a different perspective, especially since it came from one of the most prominent openly gay celebrities. Although I do believe Hart’s tweets were harsh and offensive, exposing a hard working individual for tweets he posted ten years ago is nothing but aiming to destroy his career.

Yet, this issue doesn’t just concern Hart. Tweets and posts of several celebrities were discovered and retaliation was experienced. In such circumstances, we as the general audience fail to realize that these celebrities are also human. They learn and grow; personal growth and self improvement are a part of being successful in life. And as long as they accept and apologize for their past actions, they shouldn’t be criticized. Additionally, such events remind us that celebrities we look up to are not perfect. They make mistakes, and when the mistakes spark the public’s eye, how they handle it is more important.

We need to realize that believing one’s opinions and perspectives do not change is ignorant. Sure, Hart, along with other influencers, was wrong and immature at the time. But it is as immature of us to not forgive them for something they did so long ago.