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Kevin Hart Denounces Cancel Culture: 'That's Not How I Operate'

·6-min read

Roy Rochlin/Getty Images Kevin Hart

Kevin Hart isn't afraid to share his opinion on cancel culture, after being on the receiving end during controversial moments in his career.

In a new interview with the Sunday Times, the 41-year-old actor and comedian bared his opinions on the topics, saying, "I personally don't give a s--- about it."

"If somebody has done something truly damaging then, absolutely, a consequence should be attached. But when you just talk about … nonsense?" he continued. "When you're talking, 'Someone said! They need to be taken [down]!' Shut the f--- up! What are you talking about?"

Hart, who stars in the upcoming father-daughter movie Fatherhood, said, "When did we get to a point where life was supposed to be perfect? Where people were supposed to operate perfectly all the time? I don't understand."

"I don't expect perfection from my kids. I don't expect it from my wife, friends, employees," he continued. "Because, last I checked, the only way you grow up is from f---ing up. I don't know a kid who hasn't f---ed up or done some dumb s---."

Hart then touched on his own experiences with cancel culture, telling the Times, "I've been cancelled, what, three or four times? Never bothered. If you allow it to have an effect on you, it will. Personally? That's not how I operate. I understand people are human. Everyone can change."

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Dan MacMedan/WireImage Kevin Hart

RELATED: Kevin Hart Looks Back on Oscars Controversy and Resurfaced Homophobic Remarks: "I F---- Up"

He continued, "It's like jail. People get locked up so they can be taught a lesson. When they get out, they are supposed to be better. But if they come out and people go, 'I'm not giving you a job because you were in jail' - then what the f--- did I go to jail for? That was my punishment - how do you not give those people a shot? They're saying that all life should be over because of a mistake? Your life should end and there should be no opportunity to change? What are you talking about? And who are you to make that decision?"

Hart recently faced controversy in 2018, when he was announced as the host for the 2019 Academy Awards.

Backlash quickly followed the announcement, with Twitter users resurfacing past homophobic tweets Hart had posted nearly a decade before, along with a controversial stand-up joke he made about the gay community.

In February 2020, Hart told Men's Health he now understood why people were so upset over his previous remarks on social media.

"With the whole Oscars thing, there was a big gap between what I thought the problem was versus what the problem really was," he said. "I got ten years where I made sure not to joke or play in the way that I did back then because it was a problem."

He added, "I don't care if you're gay or not gay. I'm a people person. I'm going to love you regardless. It wasn't until close friends like Wanda Sykes, Lee Daniels and Ellen DeGeneres talked to me and explained what they didn't hear me say that I understood. Then I was like, 'Oh s---, I did f--- up.' "

In Hart's 2010 comedy special Seriously Funny, he told the audience, "One of my biggest fears is my son growing up and being gay. That's a fear."

"Keep in mind, I'm not homophobic. Be happy. Do what you want to do. But me, as a heterosexual male, if I can prevent my son from being gay, I will," he said.

RELATED VIDEO: Kevin Hart Says Emotional Role in Fatherhood Was "Tough": "It Weighed Heavy on the Heart"

Hart addressed his past tweets in a video he shared on Instagram in December 2018, telling fans and critics alike, "I swear man our world is becoming beyond crazy. I'm not going to let the craziness frustrate me or anger me especially when I worked hard to get to the mental space that I am at now."

Hart continued, "My team calls me, 'Oh my God, Kevin, the world is upset about tweets you did years ago.' Oh my God. Guys, I'm almost 40 years old. If you don't believe that people grow, change, evolve as they get older, I don't know what to tell you."

"If you want to hold people in a position where they always have to justify or explain their past - then do you," he added. "I'm the wrong guy, man. I'm in a great place, a great mature place where all I do is spread positivity. If you're not doing that, you're not on my page."

The Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle star addressed the backlash again in January 2019, telling Ellen DeGeneres on her talk show at the time that the social media outrage was "a malicious attack" to end his career.

"This wasn't an accident, this wasn't a coincidence. It wasn't a coincidence that the day after I received the job, that tweets just somehow manifested from 2008," Hart told DeGeneres, 63. "I don't know who follows me or who doesn't, but I'm on social media every single day. I have over 40,000 tweets. To go through 40,000 tweets to get back to 2008? That's an attack. That's a malicious attack on my character."

Roy Rochlin/Getty Images Kevin Hart

RELATED: Kevin Hart Says Resurfacing of Past Homophobic Tweets Was an "Attack": "This Was to Destroy Me"

"That's an attack to end me. That's not an attack to end the Oscars, that's an attack to end me," he continued. "This was to destroy me. This was to end all partnerships, all brand relationships, all investment opportunities, studio relationships, my production company and the people who work underneath me. This was to damage the lives that had been invested in me. It's bigger than just the Oscars. It's about the individuals who are out there now that are finding success in damage. They're finding success in damaging your 'celebrity.' "

"I know who I am," he said on Ellen. "I know I don't have a homophobic bone in my body. I know I've addressed it, I know I've apologized. I know that within my apologies, I've taken 10 years to put my apology to work. I've yet to go back to that version of the immature comedian that once was. I've moved on. I'm cultured. I'm manufactured. I'm a guy that understands now. I look at life through a different lens and because of it, I live life in a different way."

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