Our culturally divided nation should crack open the door to redemption for more of those deemed guilty of apostasy, verbal cruelty and other forgivable sins.
We ought to do this not because Kevin Hart or anyone else has any right to glory, money and adulation on the largest stages, but because the current climate is producing an unhealthy seek-and-destroy frenzy designed to bring people down for sport.
There’s a certain schizophrenia at work when the same society that begs comedians to be provocative and celebrates dance-on-the-edge shows like “South Park” simultaneously seeks to make comics who crossed lines go away and never come back.
After he was tapped last year to host the 2019 Oscars, Hart withdrew amid a swirl of disapproval about comments made nearly a decade ago.
In a 2010 comedy special, he had said, “Me, as a heterosexual male, if I can prevent my son from being gay, I will.” In 2011, he tweeted, “Yo if my son comes home &try’s 2 play with my daughters doll house I’m going 2 break it over his head &say n my voice ‘stop that’s gay.’”
When these comments surfaced, they understandably wounded gay and lesbian Americans. Which set off a storm, which led to Hart apologizing and bowing out.
Hart says he has matured, that he wants to do and be better. He seems genuinely chastened and changed; Ellen DeGeneres, two-time Oscar host, who famously came out as gay in 1997, is campaigning to get him the hosting job back.
What do we gain by saying no?