Kevin Hart, The Oscars Fiasco, and the Search for the Worthy Soul

It’s no surprise to anybody who’s been sentient and following Hollywood for the past twelve months to twelve years that a pronounced Sharia-esque fundamentalist shadow has been cast across the Thirty Mile Zone. It’s the atheist interpretation of Raqqa in Syria; nary a soul is literate, but they all can read their future if they don’t strictly follow the Imam’s teachings.

Everybody has a religion. Everybody puts their faith in a set of doctrines they believe leads them along the higher road. It’s Catholicism or its environmentalism. Buddhism or feminism. The human soul craves to feel important. The Protestant Revolution insisted you could feel important through earthly accomplishment, not merely by holding faithful and frugal until your passing. This was a wonderful advancement in the delight of the human flesh.

Whether its chanting, ranting, or crying heresy and outrage, the end goal remains the same: elevate your soul through moral relativism. I’m not perfect, but I’m trying harder than you. Anoint me now, I’m on a holy roll.

What type of religion do agnostic creatives soaked through with pressed celery juice and herbal colonics concoct? A loosely based liturgy of rights and wrongs formed by a review of what currently offends the loudest claimants among them. In the realm of the lily-livered and chicken hearted, he who hollers the most makes the rules. Or make that she. Or zir.

The symbol of any orthodoxy printed on the scrolls of whimsical political parchment ought be the Ouroboros, the ancient Egyptian symbol of the snake consuming its own tale. It’s ravenous and blind and unaware that its myopia has turned its tooth upon its tail. This is the land of zero tolerance, political correctness, and an almost lusty desire to punish heresy. In any religious context, non-believers represent a threat to the faith-based establishment. They’re ten times more fun and don’t discuss their virtue endlessly on social media.

Imagine a Bartertown where outrage replaces pig shit for fuel. A savage outpost where the Thunderdome is empty because all squabbles have been settled by Twitter mob. You have something resembling the desperately progressive entertainment industry. Naturally, the priests are indulging in wine, women, and song, not to mention cocaine and tax shelters, whilst preaching chasteness for thee. When indulgences come at the small price of a Time’s Up donation check or a celebrity gala, you can afford a full rack of sin. Ask Harvey Weinstein and Les Moonves. Those two have walls filled with framed accolades from entertainment industry organizations.

Awards Season is the High Holidays times Ramadan times Easter of Hollywood. The holiest of holy months with ritualistic starving followed by a seven-deadly sin rife orgy unparalleled in the mortal world. The gift bags alone would make Caligula blush. A chance for an entire industry of excess and greed and assembly line exploitation to spend two months pretending it’s Van Gogh in Arles, cranking out unfiltered genius at the cost of its very own well-being. Who shall weep for me? Let’s not take any chances and weep for ourselves. I’d like to thank my entourage of assistants, caretakers, agents, and sex workers, said all the world’s great artists combined, never.

The Oscars represent the debutante ball of our self-congratulatory seasons. A time for Hollywood to double down on the ruse that it exists to make small films about tragic circumstances afflicting men and women of noble demographics, rather than cranking out CGI-dominated comic book and robot movies. The Oscars are the long con equivalent of Monsanto depicting children prancing in a sunny meadow on the cover of its annual report. Make-believe makes these denizen a good deal of revenue. There’s never a reason to pull back the curtain.

The Oscars have become a focal point of minority protest against Hollywood of late. Imagine the horror of the properly charitable gentry when the serfs of various skin tones finger them as the roadblock to diversity. Diversity being the Utopian goal if Utopians were strictly into highly celebrated symbolic wins. Specifically black actors and directors began to decry the lack of black actors and directors ever being honored at these awards. Given the large representation of black talent in Hollywood, the charge was hard to explain away without conjuring the image of the 80-year old aristocrat in Bel Air calling out to his Honduran Caravan female domestics for a Fair Trade coral sponge bath. 

You can bash Trump and Republicans and white people and men and Christians and people who comprise the fan base for The Rock and Wahlberg movies you’re pretending don’t bankroll your business til the vegan-faux cows come home, but you need a host that represents. This coming Oscars, that was to be Kevin Hart.

Not only is Kevin Hart decidedly and entirely black, check box check mark, he’s universally well liked in Hollywood. He’s universally well liked outside Hollywood too. Certainly his lousy movies and particular brand of comedy are off-putting to some, but he scores off the charts in likability rating. So well liked that people will pay to see his content simply because they like him. Imagine if that Van Gogh in Arles spent sixty seconds splashing a streak or two of blue across a canvas, but you simply adored the guy so much you golf-clapped and called him a maestro. That’s Kevin Hart. The Thomas Kinkade of actors. 

Everything was moving along swimmingly with Kevin Hart’s ascension to the role of chief everybody-feel-good-about-Hollywood-being-so-damn-good-itself, until those band of research bandits who pull old Tweets from celebrity streams reminded the world that Kevin Hart once made gay-unfriendly comments on social media. Nothing violent or aggressive or threatening by any means, but extremely non-accepting. 

The most notable Tweet passed furiously about the social platform contained Hart riffing in 2009 about his desire to have straight sons:

“Yo if my son comes home & try’s 2 play with my daughters doll house I’m going 2 break it over his head & say n my voice ‘stop that’s gay,’”

Kevin Hart on Twitter, 2009

There were a number of other posts exposed that made a “you’re so gay” joke here or even a “what kind of fag are you” slur there. Anybody who’s ever been in a male locker room in high school can cite these for you chapter and verse. Though bring that milieu excuse up and you will be told your rationalization is the better part of the problem.

There’s no reason to excuse Kevin Hart of his past comments and word choice, as he himself in the early hours of the brouhaha surrounding their public release and media storm copped to their ugliness in word. Hart chose to frame 2009 as his former self, and the road to redemption, growth and change since then as he’s now forty years of age. That whole “young and stupid” thing tends to have a cut-off age in the public’s mind. There’s no fixed number but 31 or 32 years of age doesn’t quite measure up to standards of youthful idiocy. Not when our ancestors were lucky if that was the span of their entirety of years on this planet.

The people of a certain self-righteous persuasion seem unwilling to accept the notion that minorities are every bit intolerant, stereotyping and bigoted as members of the majority race in this nation. As if the very presence of class and race and gender oppression as noted especially on college quads relieves the minority of the foibles and maladies of being human. Of being an animal with ugly instinct and survival programs and feral tendencies. This magical thinking belies the highly pervasive homophobia that runs through the black community. 

Joy Reid taking down Harvey Weinstein, before her own skeleton filled closet was opened to the public.

When MSNBC host and noted progressive, Joy Reid, was faced with decade old blog posts depicting her own anti-gay musings and jokes, she and her network went to great pains to deny the very authenticity of these writings. How could somebody so full of compassion, justice, and walking the righteous path of the anointed have mocked “the homos”? It’s quite possible Reid herself formed an amnesia-wall around the very memories of penning her anti-gay comments. Like a priest sodomizing a child of God. Did that really happen? The beast in me took over and it’s all a clever fog.

There are deep rooted cultural reasons why certain nations or racial groups or communities or religions are more homophobic than others. You can explore them intellectually or simply deplore them as they don’t rise to your tolerance grades of A’s across the boards. Why you have a Central American nanny and your husband once invited over his Asian coworker for mojitos. Your moral balance sheet is solid.

Intolerance is not to be applauded. Nor is it to be demonized any more than any other lesser angel of human nature. Humans being imperfect as they are, the more tolerant approach to intolerant people might be an assessment of the whole package, of deeds over words, of reputation over old Tweets, or the scuttlebutt, the rumors, what respected friends and peers have to say. Is Kevin Hart a bad guy? Nobody’s ever said that before. In fact, nobody seemed to care when he cheated on his wife. Nobody in Hollywood. Though their judgmental doppelgängers in the Christian right might feel differently. They are so similar minus the specifics of the rhetorical charges, they could fit into the same suits without adjustment.

Furious questions and anti-LGBTQ+ allegations and denouncements proceeded quickly against Hart who deigned to be worthy of Oscar host; the diminutive comic eventually folded. And by eventually, about four hours later. Times flies in the digital age, exceeded only by a lemming like zeal for piling on with sermon points in your social bubble. If you walk the path of the righteous, you can never log off. The man above needs you on duty. Err, the woman above. Damn, I’ll never work in this town again.

You have to wonder who among us is so pure of soul as to deserve this hosting honor. They could cancel the Oscars while we scour the earth for a worthy soul, an empty vessel with no regrets or past sins. Who in this town of false idols hasn’t uttered or written something they wish they hadn’t a decade or more ago?

The resemblance of the progressive media culture’s social justice structure to that of a fundamentalist religion is amazing. It’s Sharia Law, Hollywood style. If they only could see the sad truth through their blinders. Soon, there will be nobody left to turn out the lights in the temple. Kevin Hart would’ve been funny.