Four years ago, Kevin Hart made a joke on Twitter about dark-skinned black women, and it’s now coming back to haunt him on social media.
Jokes about dark skin aren’t uncommon with Hart, and neither are jokes about black women. But there’s one group that’s protected from Hart’s 5-foot-4 wrath, and that’s the gay community. In a recent interview with Playboy, Hart explained why he won’t make jokes about gay people or discuss politics:
I’m not a political guy. I don’t really deal with Democrats or Republicans. I don’t find that funny. And I don’t talk about the gay community, be it male or female. No thank you! It’s such a sensitive subject. I’ve seen comics get into serious trouble by joking about gay people. It’s too dangerous. Whatever you say, any joke you make about the gay community, it’s going to be misconstrued. It’s not worth it.
Playboy also brought up the fact that his joke about dark-skinned black women seemed to ruffle tons of feathers, but Hart chalked it up to it just being comedy:
Listen, that was just me being silly on Twitter, playing on a trending topic. Some people were offended by it, but that’s always a risk with comedy. Nobody’s going to find everything funny. I didn’t feel I had to apologize for something that was misconstrued and taken out of context. I have no ill will toward women, not dark-skinned women, not light-skinned women. I was just being silly. I’m a comedian. Being silly is my job; it’s how I pay my bills.
So, no jokes about gay people or politics, but it’s open season on black women? I’m not one to ever take seriously anything a comic says, but some people believe that if you’re not going to say something offensive about one group, then you should at least be consistent when it comes to others.
Hart’s comments didn’t sit well with those on social media. Over the weekend, people didn’t hesitate to call out the comic:
Hart, who has no problem defending himself on Twitter, shot back at accusations that he hates dark-skinned women:
One has to wonder if black women should chalk up his comments as comedy, especially when we're being used as the subject matter. Would people be happy if he started to tell jokes about gay people and stopped telling ones about dark-skinned women? Or, better yet, should Hart tell jokes about dark-skinned LGBT women and men?
Thankfully we live in a world where free will exists. If people truly find Hart offensive, it's just as easy to stop supporting what offends you.
Yesha Callahan is editor of The Grapevine and a staff writer at The Root. Follow her on Twitter.