Netflix has done an outstanding job over the past few years, emerging from obscurity to become the leading original, scripted and documentary content network. The list of hit, award-winning productions from Netflix is far too robust even to list here, but there is a wide range of fan favorites, from Arrested Development (2003) and Black Mirror (2011) to the current seasons of The Crown, Stranger Things, and Queer Eye. For a network than can seemingly do no wrong, counting millions of worldwide LGBTQ viewers to its platform, Netflix might have possibly hit its first real sour note with a show that has not even aired yet.
Pint-sized, big-mouthed, LGBT frenemy – Kevin Hart, who was ousted from hosting the Oscars when his homophobic tweets resurfaced, has a new Netflix docu-series that chronicles all the media fallout he endured after the scandal broke. I’m not sure what Netflix was thinking. There’s so much wrong with this show’s premise, I don’t even know where to begin … but let me give it a shot.
When Hart lost his 2019 Oscar hosting gig over his since-deleted homophobic tweets, he was dismissive and somewhat flippant. As the public backlash grew, rather than apologize, he instead declared he had already apologized for those words and then further proclaimed he was not homophobic. It’s important to remember the severity of his most incendiary tweet in which Hart expressed,
“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.”
Atrocious grammar and hideous spelling aside, that tweet is quite grotesque no matter how you look at it.
Then there are the times on Twitter Hart called users f*gg*ts and made other disparaging anti-gay comments. He claims to have apologized for all of it, however to date there has been no actual apologies from Hart found on record. While facing the public dragging, he offered a non-apology statement once again on Twitter; this one made him look even worse than he did from his original controversial Tweet:
“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 for me, as a heterosexual male, if I can prevent my son from being gay, I will.”
Yea, that doesn’t sound homophobic at all, right?
TV’s current reigning ‘Queen of Nice’ Ellen Degeneres ruffled feathers when she became an unlikely advocate of support for Hart after his PR nightmare of missteps. She invited him onto her show and even accepted his half-assed, or no-assed apology. She also urged the Oscars to reinstate Hart as their 2019 host. It was an odd gesture that seemed audacious on her part, apologizing seemingly on behalf of the entire LGBT community. She vowed her support to him as a fellow comedian, and she gave him the benefit of the doubt, assuming this all would be a teachable moment of redemption and learning for Hart.
She was wrong.
A few weeks later, Hart faced the controversy again, this time in an interview with openly gay, CNN News anchor, Don Lemon. In that one-on-one with Lemon, not only did Hart claim to have already apologized for his previous comments, but he also rather coldly indicated that becoming an LGBT ally is not a real focus but of course, he went on to offer the obligatory “I’m not homophobic though” and took to Twitter to play the real victim, accusing the media and gays of being out to get him.
To this very moment, Hart remains at odds with the LGBT community. He seems reluctant to offer an apology of substance that represents any inkling of respect for the millions of gay people he offended. As for Netflix, I might be wrong but it appears to be nothing less than disingenuous exploitation to feature Hart in a reality show that centers around this controversy when if the show is a success, Hart stands to reap financial rewards and benefits of having a hit television show by which the LGBT community is a key component. In essence, he could get rewarded for bad behavior – and on the backs of the same community, he has disparaged and disrespected repeatedly.
Hart’s quick willingness to absolve himself of any responsibility for his vitriolic comments against gay people is bad enough. Adding insult to injury, using that premise for a reality show, is somewhat shameless, and it’s disappointing that Netflix would provide him a platform to make a profit off the pain he has caused so many.