In an interview Thursday with Fresh
Air's Terry Gross, Kevin Hart explained that people “choose”
to be offended by anti-gay jokes.
Hart turned down an
opportunity to host this year's Oscars after he was criticized over
old homophobic tweets and jokes. He said that he would rather not
host the awards show than apologize because he's previously
While Hart has
apologized several times after turning down the hosting opportunity,
some, including CNN anchor Don Lemon, questioned his sincerity.
Lemon, who is gay, also noted that the news outlet could not find
those past apologies Hart has repeatedly pointed to.
Hart told Gross
that his apology was sincere.
“My apology was
sincere when it was given, and I made it sincere when I gave it
again, and my effort after that, when I gave another one, was just as
sincere,” Hart said. “But it just seemed as if it was a
never-ending cycle. So, I chose to just shut it down and say that
I'm done with it, and move on from it.”
Gross pointed to
jokes Hart made about stopping his son from being gay. In a tweet,
he said that if he found his son playing with a dollhouse, he would
break the house over his head. In his 2010 comedy special Seriously
Funny, Hart said, “Every kid has a gay moment, but you have to
stop it right there.”
“This sounds like
when you had a son, you were afraid that your son was going to be
gay,” Gross said. “So, what did gay mean to you then? What is
it you were afraid of?”
“I think that's
taking a joke and putting a context that you're determining it should
be on it,” Hart responded. “The joke was made with light
intentions. It's not that deep-rooted, but because of the time of
today, people look at it, and they dissect it.”
"And then I
say, but as a heterosexual male, if I can prevent my son from being
gay, I would. It's a joke. It's called a segue. The segue was to get
into the joke about something that really happened at a party where
my son was playing, and there was another boy playing with him. And I
was like, hey, all right, that's enough of that."
times today are so sensitive, we forget the jokes are made with the
intensive purpose of making people laugh, not to hurt. That's not the
purpose behind the joke.”
"To me, when I
did it, I thought that it would be funny. So if people choose to take
offense to something, then that's a choice," he added.
Hart appeared on
NRP to promote his latest film, The Upside.