Comedian Kevin Hart came to the defense of Dave Chappelle and decried cancel culture while admitting that he has changed his approach to comedy in order to be respectful of others.
Hart made the comments in an interview with the New York Times.
“That man don’t have a hateful bone in his body. And I don’t say that because it’s hypothetical — I say that because I know him,” said Hart of Chappelle, who has been accused of transphobic comments.
“I know his world,” Hart continued. “I know that he embraces the LGBT+ community, because he has friends who are close to him from that community. I know that his kids understand equality, fair treatment, love. I know that his wife embeds that in their kids. I know why people embrace him. He’s a good dude.”
Hart was also the victim of cancel culture in 2018 when resurfaced tweets sunk his hopes of hosting the Oscar awards ceremony. He later apologized for the jokes and Chappelle used his story to criticize cancel culture in one of his comedy specials.
Hart went on in the Times interview to opine that cancel culture had gone too far in society.
“If there is a joke, there’s an attempt to be funny. You can find a joke tasteful or distasteful. If you’re a supporter of a performer, then you’re probably OK with whatever’s happening. And if you’re not a fan, you’re infuriated and you’re outraged. Rightfully so — you have every right to be,” he said.
“You also have a right to not support it,” Hart concluded. “But the energy that’s put into wanting to change or end someone, it’s getting out of hand.”
The newest protest against Chappelle originated from some students at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts, where the comedian went to high school. Students are protesting the school’s plans to name a theater after Chappelle after he has donated and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for his alma mater.
Chappelle has responded to the controversy by challenging his critics to raise more money for the school than his supporters. He said that if they are successful he’ll refuse to put his name on the theater.
Hart is on a campaign to publicize his new dramatic limited series on Netflix entitled, “True Story,” starring himself and Wesley Snipes.
Here’s Hart’s comments on the Chappelle controversy:
Kevin Hart talks new drama series ‘True Story’; says ‘I stand with Dave’ amidst controversy