Kevin Hart has given his own opinions on cancel culture and what it’s like to be a comedian during a time of heightened scrutiny.
According to The Grio, Hart spoke with the Sunday Times to promote his upcoming film, Fatherhood. In the interview, he said that he doesn’t know when things got to a point where people feel like they can’t make mistakes.
“If somebody has done something truly damaging then, absolutely, a consequence should be attached, 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?” he said. “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.”
“I don’t expect perfection from my kids,” he continued. “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 shit.”
He said he’s been canceled “three or four times,” but its “never bothered” him.
“If you allow it to have an effect on you, it will. Personally, that’s not how I operate,” he said, and talked about the existential worries some comedians have about making jokes in fear of offending people.
“You’re thinking that things you say will come back and bite you on the ass. I can’t be the comic today that I was when I got into this,” he said. “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.”
He also touched on his prior scandals with homophobic jokes, saying, “If people want to pull up stuff, go back to the same tweets of old, go ahead. There is 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 all about growth.”
Hart’s comments about cancel culture echo and come afterr what Katt Williams said about the current environment for comedians on the Joe Budden Podcast.
“Some of these things are for the benefit of everything,” said Williams, according to Esquire. “Nobody likes the speed limit, but it’s necessary. Nobody likes the shoulder of the road, but it’s there for a reason. My point is, [people] weren’t all that extremely funny back when they could say whatever they wanted to say.”
“If all that’s gonna happen is that we have to be more sensitive in the way that we talk, isn’t that what we want anyways?” he said. “…If you want to offend somebody, nobody took those words away from you. [But] your job as a comedian is to please the most people with your art…Growth is part of being an adult. If these are the confines that keep you from doing the craft that God put you to, this job probably ain’t for you.”
Williams’ comments went viral for demystifying “cancel culture” and showing that it’s actually supposed to be about accountability. Hart’s comments are also currently making the rounds online as well, but more attention has been paid to his comments about people needing to pipe down on Twitter rather than his other musings on growing and the importance of accountability in the media.