Kevin Hart Slammed for Telling Jussie Smollett to ‘Stand Strong’ After Homophobic Attack
Kevin Hart is receiving some criticism for comments he made regarding the possible hate crime against Empire star Jussie Smollett.
On Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019, Hart took to Instagram to react to news that Smollett had reportedly been attacked by two men the day before. “Sending prayers your way @jussiesmollett,” Hart wrote. “This is unbelievably sad.” The actor-producer then addressed the disturbing nature of the incident: “Why are we going backwards….this is disgusting. We as people have to do better. WTF is going on the world???? Why are we falling in love with hate????”
The Upside actor shared the same post on Twitter, where countless users replied with remarks about how the racist and homophobic attack on Smollett is an example of why Hart’s past controversial jokes were widely criticized. Other critics pointed out how Hart once joked in 2011 about abusing his son if he were gay, which was just one of the many since-deleted tweets that recently resurfaced and led to the stand-up comedian’s decision to step down from hosting the upcoming Oscars and apologize to the LGBT community.
Sending prayers your way @jussiesmollett ….This is unbelievably sad. Why are we going backwards….this is disgusting. We as people have to do better. WTF is going on the world???? Why… https://t.co/G6vCnKPEhf
— Kevin Hart (@KevinHart4real) January 30, 2019
The father of three ended his message with a plea to fans, stating, “Choose love…I repeat…Choose love. I will forever choose love and I will continue to teach my kids how to do the same. Stand strong brother.”
“This is why someone’s jokes about beating their gay son were never funny,” TV writer Ira Madison III tweeted.
This is why someone’s jokes about beating their gay son were never funny
— Ira (@ira) January 29, 2019
Filmmaker Sam Greisman, who is the son of actress Sally Field, echoed, “But keep joking about beating up your kid for being gay, Kevin Hart!”
But keep joking about beating up your kid for being gay, Kevin Hart!
— sam greisman (@SAMGREIS) January 29, 2019
Given the circumstances surrounding the attack against Smollett, who was reportedly called homophobic and racist slurs during the horrific incident, some fans weren’t thrilled that Hart, who has infamously made homophobic jokes in the past, offered up his support. “Oh now you want to pretend like you care?” one social media user tweeted. “Lolololol this is rich.”
In the wake of the attack, the actor-singer, who received messages of support from dozens of celebrities including Janet Jackson and John Legend, is still scheduled to perform at the famed Troubadour club in West Hollywood on Saturday, February 2. Paul Kacik from the concert booking company Sean Healy Presents confirmed to the Los Angeles TimesOpens a New Window. that they are “going on with the show as far as we know, until we hear anything different.”