Nick Cannon just called out Amy Schumer, Sarah Silverman, and other comedians for their tweets
We live in amazing times, where we can instantly access information about everything. Unfortunately, that also includes information about us. As we sculpt personalities on social media, we don't think about the possible repercussions in the future. Nothing on the internet disappears.
Last week, comedian Kevin Hart learned a hard lesson as he became the shortest Oscar host in history. (Pun intended.) Hours after his hosting announcement, Hart's homophobic tweets resurfaced. The tweets dated from 2009 t0 2011 and contained numerous gay slurs, plus anti-gay jokes. For example, one tweet read, "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.'" Although the posts were old, many people were offended, and thought the Night School star owed the LGBTQ community an apology.
Hart's first response was defiant. On Instagram, he said he was all about positivity these days, and did not want to revisit negative things from his past. Hours later, he released another video, revealing that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences gave him an ultimatum: apologise or they'll find a new host. He chose not to apologise, and claimed he already addressed the issue.
This outraged people even more, as it seemed like he did not regret his behaviour. Then, finally, Hart apologised to the LGBTQ community and announced he was stepping down the from the Oscars gig.
The controversy sparked a debate: Should we judge celebrities for their old "problematic" tweets? Over time, attitudes in society change, and we grow as people. Stand-up comedians often push the boundaries regarding what's offensive, and therefore tend to have many old jokes they regret. Is it fair to single out Kevin Hart? Wild N' Out's Nick Cannon called out three comedians for their old tweets, which contain gay slurs just like Kevin Hart's.
In 2012, Chelsea Handler, host of eponymous talk shows on E! and Netflix, tweeted, "This is what a f** bird likes like when he flexes." In 2010, Sarah Silverman, star of Disney's Wreck-It-Ralph and Hulu's I Love You, America, tweeted, "I dont mean this in a hateful way but the new bachelorette's a f*****." And in 2012, movie and television star Amy Schumer tweeted, "Enjoy skyfall f***. I'm bout to get knee deep in Helen Hunt #thesessions." Do the people who protested Kevin Hart also protest those comedians?
To be sure, it was a different time back then. Gay slurs, unfortunately, were more socially acceptable. In a recent interview, Sarah Silverman explained how her comedy has transformed over the years.
"It’s interesting to have done comedy through such totally different times," said Silverman. "There’s so much in my first special that makes me cringe, but I’m not ashamed of it. You have to be accountable. And if you don’t look back at your old shit and cringe, you’re not growing."
In 2012, Nick Cannon condemned comedians that use gay slurs, tweeting, "If your best joke includes "gay" or "f*****" you should be kicked of twitter this ain't the 3rd grade! #notaninsult #lackofcreativity." It took a few years for others to get 'woke,' but at least they got there, eventually, right? We've all said things we regret, or made us cringe years later. What matters most is how you handle it; if Kevin Hart just apologized right away, he probably would have kept the Oscars, gig, right?
Social media has turned into quite a minefield. Be careful what you tweet!