Kevin Hart's painful Oscars saga is what happens when celebrity and accountability collide
Hart has pointed out that he addressed his past homophobic jokes before, but those statements weren't an act of sincere contrition. As Rachel Leah notes, people outraged over his old homophobic tweets were mainly looking for a sincere apology, which Hart didn't give until stepping down. "Hart is far from the only celebrity — Louis C.K. and Lena Dunham have done this recently as well — to take the frustrating and disappointing approach that the perpetrators of harm or abuse are the ones who get to determine what accountability for that harm should look like," says Leah. "A few half-hearted justifications that the world is too sensitive now is not taking responsibility; stepping away from comedy for some months just to come back and say 'it's been a weird year' is not restitution; discrediting a black woman's sexual assault and then claiming it was a teachable moment is not redress. All of these situations show celebrities centering themselves without listening to or engaging with the communities they hurt."