Kevin Hart is speaking out against cancel culture. The comedian, who previously got huge backlash after his old homophobic jokes resurfaced online, discussed the internet outrage in a new interview with the Sunday Times.
"If somebody has done something truly damaging then, absolutely, a consequence should be attached," the "Fatherhood" actor revealed to the U.K. newspaper. "But when you just talk about… nonsense? When you're talking, 'Someone said! They need to be taken [down]!' Shut the f*** up! What are you talking about?"
The "Get Hard" star went on to rant, "When did we get to a point where life was supposed to be perfect? Where people were supposed to operate perfectly all the time? I don't understand." As being perfect is impossible for anyone, Kevin revealed, "I don't expect perfection from my kids. I don't expect it from my wife, friends, employees. Because, last I checked, the only way you grow up is from f***ing up. I don't know a kid who hasn’t f***ed up or done some dumb s**t."
Later, the 41-year-old star, who was forced to step down from his Oscars hosting gig in 2019 over backlash surrounding his old tweets, said that despite being canceled "three or four times," he was "never bothered." Kevin added, "If you allow it to have an effect on you, it will. Personally? That's not how I operate."
"I understand people are human. Everyone can change. It's like jail. People get locked up so they can be taught a lesson. When they get out, they are supposed to be better. But if they come out and people go, 'I'm not giving you a job because you were in jail' -- then what the f**k did I go to jail for? That was my punishment -- how do you not give those people a shot?" he continued. "They're saying that all life should be over because of a mistake? Your life should end and there should be no opportunity to change? What are you talking about? And who are you to make that decision?"
Kevin also noted that cancel culture made comedians hold themselves back in fear of being offensive. "You're thinking that things you say will come back and bite you on the a**," he explained. "I can't be the comic today that I was when I got into this."
The star then noted, "It's about the intent behind what you say -- there's an assumption it's always bad and, somehow, we forgot comedians are going for the laugh. You're not saying something to make people angry. That's not why I'm on stage. I'm trying to make you laugh and if I did not make you laugh I failed. That's my consequence."
"If there's a message to take from anything I've said, it's that in this world of opinion, it's OK to just disagree," he shared. "It's OK to not like what someone did and to say that person wasn’t for me. We are so caught up in everybody feeling like they have to be right and their way is the only way. Politics is f***ed up because, if you don't choose our side, you're dumb."
He went on to say, "It's a divide. It's f***ed up. But I'm not about to divide. I don't support the divide! I put everybody in the f***ing building. We all come into this building Kevin Hart is in and we all laugh. I bring people together -- like it or not." He continued, "If people want to pull up stuff, go back to the same tweets of old, go ahead. This nothing I can do. You’re looking at a younger version of myself. A comedian trying to be funny and, at that attempt, failing. Apologies were made. I understand now how it comes off. I look back and cringe. So it's growth. It's about growth."