News & Politics

Kevin Hart Will Not Negotiate with Terrorists

Actor and comedian Kevin Hart attends a special screening of "Kevin Hart: What Now?" at the AMC Loews Lincoln Square on Oct. 12, 2016, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

If you had told me as recently as a month ago that I’d ever be backing up Kevin Hart, I would’ve thought you were crazy. I’ve endured several of his movies because of social obligations, and the only one I really liked was Jumanji, mostly because it was an ensemble comedy and contained a smaller percentage of Kevin Hart than usual. He’s one of the reasons I’m eternally grateful for the Mute button. I don’t begrudge the man his success, but so far I’ve been content with aiding his career by staying out of the way.

Not everybody is so sanguine, of course. I’ve always been skeptical of claims about a “Pink Mafia” in Hollywood and the media, mostly because assuming that pink is a gay color is #problematic. But after watching the way Hart has been harassed over the past month, it sure does seem like there’s a coordinated effort to ruin him because he’s expressed unfashionable opinions about gay people. Within 24 hours of the announcement that he’d be hosting the Oscars, #woke media outlets like HuffPo and BuzzFeed and the Daily Beast were running with stories about Hart’s mean tweets from a decade ago. And the authors, such as BuzzFeed’s David Mack and Daily Beast’s Kevin Fallon, sure did seem to be taking it personally.

They got what they wanted. Hart’s not hosting the Oscars, and nobody else in Hollywood wants the job either. So the ceremonies will proceed with no host at all. That seems like the safest bet. When was the last time an empty podium offended anybody?

But that’s not enough. They won, and they can’t get over it. They’re still haranguing Hart. They’re angry that he’s living his life without bowing and scraping to them. So now he’s doing what every single entertainer — hell, every single American — should do in this situation.

“There is no ending to it. If you keep feeding this energy, then it’s going to grow. You’re not getting no more of my energy from me.”

If we lived in a culture where making an apology was enough, he wouldn’t need to say this. He’d be left alone.

It remains to be seen whether Hart sticks to his pledge. If he does, it certainly won’t be because Mack and Fallon and all of Hart’s other critics have stopped tormenting him. They’ve tasted blood, and they want more:

These white guys can attack a black man all they want and their own rules don’t apply to them, because they’re gay and therefore they’re the bigger victims. No amount of groveling is going to satisfy them. They don’t want a conversation. They want submission.

Because it’s not a gay vs. straight thing, or a black vs. white thing. It’s about a group with newfound power exerting that power. It’s about seeking out enemies and forcing them to submit. And until they do, the group with the power will continue to seek submission. Welcome to the history of the world.

“You’re not getting no more of my energy from me.” That’s the best response. It’s a waste of energy trying to explain yourself to people who don’t want an explanation. It’s pointless to search for common ground with people who think they’re above you. Haters gonna hate. Leave ’em to it.

And if they don’t like it, they can always hit the Mute button.