Comedian Kevin Hart seems to have sworn off of gay jokes, and we kind of feel sorry for him. He sounds like he’s kind of scared of us! We just want to give him a big hug. (No homo.)
In a Reddit AMA this week, he was terse. Someone asked why he said he wouldn’t joke about LGBTs anymore, and he replied: “It’s just a sensitive topic and I respect people of all orientations. So, it’s just best left alone.”
Uh huh. Yes, it must be easy to “just leave alone” the topic of gays when you are straight. Enjoy your heterosexual privilege!
This awkward position seems to be fallout from a joke he made awhile back about not wanting his son to be gay. You can watch it above. “One of my biggest fears is my son growing up and being gay. … Keep in mind I’m not homophobic. … But me being a heterosexual male, if I can prevent my son being gay, I will.”
We are willing to take Hart at his word that he doesn’t consider himself homophobic! He’s no Larry Craig or Ted Haggard or Aaron Schock, passing legislation that actively harms the gay community.
But just like it’s possible to be casually racist without meaning it (eg, picturing a black person in your head when you hear the word “thug”), Hart’s bit was casually homophobic.
And of course, acting like we don’t exist isn’t much better than making jokes at our expense. We’d much rather hear the jokes said out loud than imagine what he must be thinking about us in his head. And self-censorship isn’t cool. We’re a little disappointed that he seems to just be giving up on the topic altogether, rather than getting to a better understanding of why it’s problematic to say “I’m not homophobic but…”
So now he’s refusing to talk about gay people altogether. Did someone intimidate him? Or just point out that he was being an asshole? Is this Hart’s final decision on the subject, or is he on a journey towards a better understanding of what gayness is? Saying something like “prevent my son being gay” seems to indicate that he just didn’t understand what he was talking about, so maybe now he’s learning.
After all, it could be a lot worse: