US: What Kevin Hart’s Oscars Situation Says About Queerness and Black Masculinity

Jonathan P. Higgins, Ed.D. Dr. Higgins is a speaker, writer, and social justice defender who believes in speaking truth to power. With an impressive list of credentials, their work has been included on web platforms including OUT, SYFY, Huffington Post, The Root, Blavity, The Daily Dot, Shadow & Act, Slate, On Being and more. 

Kevin Hart’s history of homophobic remarks dates back to 2009. Slurs, statements in interviews, and selections from his stand-up reveal that, to Hart, the idea of being LGBTQ is not only funny, but scary. In 2010, Hart told a friend his Twitter profile photo looked like “a gay billboard for AIDS” and joked by using the f-word. In that same year, Hart’s Seriously Funny stand-up special featured a bit where he described his fear that his then-three-year-old son Hendrix would turn out to be gay, and added, “Keep in mind, I’m not homophobic, I have nothing against gay people, be happy. Do what you want to do. But me, being a heterosexual male, if I can prevent my son from being gay, I will.” Yet, in a 2015 interview with Rolling Stone, Hart countered his critics by insisting they were too “sensitive” and “mak[ing] big deals out of things that aren’t necessarily big deals.”

Except homophobia is a big deal, especially when violence against LGBTQ individuals is on the rise. With LGBTQ-identified teens being twice as likely to be bullied by a peer and over 40 percent of the homeless population being queer people of color, homophobia isn’t a laughing matter. With the “Crisis of Hate” reporting that LGBTQ+ homicides have grown by 400 percent under Trump’s administration and more than two dozen Black queer/trans women of color were murdered this year, we have to really think about the weight of jokes made at the expense of queer individuals.

The reality is that Hart is in exactly the place that many male comedians choose to reside. Read more via INTO