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Kevin Hart Responds After His Tweet Supporting ‘Empire’ Star Jussie Smollett Is Met With Criticism

On January 29, Empire actor Jussie Smollett became the victim of a hate crime in Chicago, Illinois, when two men attacked him, putting a noose around his neck and shouting “This is MAGA country,” in his face.

An outpouring of love and support for Smollett and a collective outrage over the racism and homophobia which caused the attack have washed over social media.

One message from actor and comedian Kevin Hart, however, caused a small controversy due to the recently resurfaced homophobic tweets and comedy material which kept him from hosting the Oscars.

Hart sent Smollett his thoughts and prayers on social media.

Hart would later add:

“Operation spread love is in full effect damn it.”

“I don’t condone or believe in hate, infact [sic] I despise it.”

“Hate makes me sick to my stomach…its pointless [sic].”

“Cowards & weak individuals embrace it.”

“I choose love…I love all of you.”

“I challenge the rest of the world 2 do the same.”

Hart’s tweets were not received well online, where many people reminded him of his homophobic comments from between 2009 and 2011.

Most notably, many referenced one joke where Hart claimed he would “break it over his head and say in my voice ‘stop that’s gay'” if he saw his son playing with a dollhouse.

For many people on Twitter, the crime against Smollett was an extension of the same sentiments Hart wrote about in his regrettable tweets.

Others, however, thought Hart’s tweets represented a positive step.

There is still a large swath of the internet who believe Hart never actually apologized for his earlier comments.

Though he may regret saying things which have caused controversy in his present, some believe Hart’s apologies fell short of sincere and actual acts of contrition have been few-and-far between.

Prominent TV writer and podcaster Ira Madison III went so far as to call Hart’s condolences his “funniest joke.”

Hart responded to Ira’s comments, defending himself.

Meanwhile, however, most of Twitter continued to demand that Hart show he’s made actual change, since he once joked about attacks like the one against Jollett.

Joking about violence against the LGBTQ+ community is never funny and emboldens dark actions like these.

In the meantime, Twitter’s reactions to Hart’s response seemed fairly unified. 

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Written by Collin Gossel

Collin Gossel is a writer and comedian living in Brooklyn, New York, but there are nights when he looks up at the stars and wistfully thinks to himself “there’s got to be more out there…” You can catch Collin improvising new musicals every Tuesday night at the Magnet Theater’s Musical Megawatt, or follow his unfiltered thoughts on Twitter and Instagram @CollinGossel.--