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No stranger to being in the middle of an awkward situation, comedian and Hollywood fave Kevin Hart knows a thing or two about how to handle himself during a controversial crisis. So he perhaps has a added layer of empathy for other celebs whose misguided actions draw the ire of the Internet. Case in point, Hart has spoken up with positivity in recent weeks in defense of talk show host Ellen DeGeneres and The Masked Singer host Nick Cannon once their respective scandalous situations went wide in the public eye.
As many are already aware, The Ellen DeGeneres Show has been plagued by allegations of promoting toxic workplace behavior that led to producers getting fired, with its namesake also being targeted for how she reportedly treats employees and certain guests. Meanwhile, Nick Cannon earned widespread criticisms and was fired from ViacomCBS for making anti-Semitic statements touting racial conspiracy theories on his podcast Cannon's Class. In response to those situations, Kevin Hart has spoken up in defense for his fellow comedians at a time when so many others have been quick to condemn them. Speaking with Deadline, Hart explained his stance, saying:
Well, I don’t lose sight of the definition of friendship, and in our business, it’s one thing that people don’t really hold on to. There’s a lot of relationships that are fake, and there’s some that are real. In my case, the ones that are real are the ones that I’m always going to be adamant about speaking on behalf of. I know the people that both of them are, and knowing the people, all I can say is my experiences with those people. That’s not to take away from what other people are saying that they have had, and that they have done. It’s just to highlight what I’m saying I know, and what I can speak on behalf of.
Kevin Hart says he isn't seeking to take anything away from the claims being made by those who were offended by Nick Cannon's words, nor by those who were allegedly treated badly while working on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Rather, he aims only to speak his mind about what he knows from his own experiences with the two celebs, and in his mind, both Cannon and DeGeneres have been good friends over the years. So if he's asked to talk about them, he's speaking from the heart with what he knows from his own life. Obviously not everyone can look at the situation from the same viewpoint.
Beyond that, Kevin Hart is definitely not a fan of "cancel culture" rising up in Hollywood and beyond, since there's very little nuance between how the Internet handles minor offenders and the worst of the worst. Hart, of course, has been the target of multiple backlashes over the years. In 2017, he publicly confessed an affair he'd had while wife Eniko Parrish was pregnant earlier that year. In 2018, he backed down from hosting the Academy Awards after several of his homophobic tweets resurfaced from years previous.
As such, Kevin Hart says he knows what celebrities like Ellen DeGeneres and Nick Cannon are going through in the midst of having so many people turning their back. Here's what else he had to say about it.
In times like this, I know also how dark it gets. I know how lonely it gets, because I know that these are times when people just turn their back on you. So for the ones that you love, that are close to your heart, you just want them to have some support, when it seems that there is none out there, and that’s just who I am as a person. That goes for anybody, across the board, that I consider a friend, and that’s not a big group of people. Everybody doesn’t get that conversation and that feeling from me, but the ones that do, I’m serious about it. I’m true to it, and it doesn’t mean that you have to speak on behalf of the problem. It doesn’t mean that you have to disregard the things that others are saying. It means that I can just speak on my relationship with my friends. When it comes to Nick, and it comes Ellen, I know who they are, and I know who they’ve been for the years that I’ve been around them, and I can only speak to that. Those are two of the most amazing people that I know.
Of course, many people are going to take Kevin Hart's words with a grain of salt, considering celebrities are usually quick to defend other entertainers rather than viewing situations from the public's point of view. While there have been a few celebs that have shared in the idea that Ellen DeGeneres is not as nice and friendly as her public persona makes her out to be, many more have come to her defense without fully acknowledging there's a double standard at play.
Kevin Hart, whose Netflix series Kevin Hart: Don't Fuck This Up is nominated for an Emmy Award, also has the Paul Weitz drama Fatherhood coming in 2021. It was also recently announced that he's teaming up with Will Smith for a Planes, Trains and Automobiles remake, so his career is clearly going smoothly. While waiting to see what's coming next for Ellen DeGeneres, Nick Cannon, and Hart, head to our Fall 2020 TV premiere schedule.