Kevin Hart‘s response to the backlash he faced over his old homophobic jokes has drawn mixed responses. While the “Ride Along” star has decided to step down from the 2019 Oscars hosting duty, some think he should’ve stayed on as host.
GLAAD President Sarah Kate Ellis says in a statement to EW, “Kevin Hart shouldn’t have stepped down; he should have stepped up.” Ellis explains, “Hart’s apology to LGBTQ people is an important step forward, but he missed a real opportunity to use his platform and the Oscars stage to build unity and awareness. We would still welcome that conversation with him.”
Ellis additionally expects that the Academy would fix the issue with Hart’s replacement. “The Academy has recently made significant strides in featuring diverse talent onstage and they should now double down on that commitment as they look for a new host,” she adds.
Echoing the sentiment, fellow comedian Tony Rock says Hart made the wrong decision by removing himself from the Oscars. “I don’t think he should’ve stepped down from hosting the Oscars,” Rock tells TMZ. “I think he could’ve did more good and made the biggest stance, by hosting it and making a statement on that platform.”
Rock additionally imagines that the world would be a better place if people stop being so sensitive about jokes. “Gay people … at some point you gonna have to accept being made fun of,” he says, before explaining, “To be embraced in society is to be able to have other members of society to poke fun at you.” He adds, “If you’re offended and you need an apology, I understand.”