Don Lemon is speaking out after Kevin Hart‘s appearance on Ellen, during which DeGeneres advocated that Hart host the Academy Awards. The CNN host shared a passionate plea for tolerance, stating that as a member of both the black and LGBTQ communities, he feels obligated to contribute to a dialogue that supports these groups. In an almost 10-minute clip, Lemon called for an end to behavior that condones homophobia, in however “low-key” a manner.
“For many in the gay community, especially in the black community, the Twitter apologies on Ellen have fallen flat,” Lemon said, adding that Hart “somehow turns himself into a victim instead of acknowledging the real victims of violent and sometimes deadly homophobia.”
Citing statistics that say 44 percent of homeless gay youths are black, Lemon went back to clips of Hart’s stand-up routines, in which he claims that he’s “not homophobic. I have nothing against gay people,” yet says that if he could prevent his son from being gay, he would. Hart went on to express how horrified he was when his son, then 3, shared what Hart called a “gay moment” with another boy at a party.
Lemon also noted Hart’s joking comment that he would break a dollhouse over his son’s head if he found him playing with it. “That was a joke to Kevin,” said Lemon, playing a clip from the TV show Empire inspired by its creator Lee Daniels’s abuse by his father as a child. “But the truth is that is a reality for many little boys in the United States. Those views of LBGTQ people within the black community have consequences. We have to stop low-key co-signing homophobia.”
Lemon’s target was not so much Hart’s past mistakes as his desire to end the conversation critical of them. Lemon added that the Academy has said that it would reinstate Hart as the host of this year’s event if he apologized again, an option Hart himself has said he “took a pass” on.
“Someone like Kevin Hart, with one of the biggest megaphones in the entire world, he can be a leader. The ultimate change agent. He can help change homophobia in the black community, something Kevin’s old Twitter jokes addressed, but in the wrong way,” Lemon said.
On her show Friday, DeGeneres advocated for Hart, sharing “As a gay person, I am sensitive to all of that. You’ve already expressed that it’s not being educated on the subject, not realizing how dangerous those words are, not realizing how many kids are killed for being gay or beaten up every day. You have grown, you have apologized, you are apologized again right now. You’ve done it. Don’t let those people win — host the Oscars.”
She came in for swift backlash for defending the comedian.
During his appearance, Hart complained that after less than 24 hours “to glow” in the celebration of being awarded the job of hosting the 91st annual Academy Awards, he suffered an onslaught of criticism, and subsequently withdrew from the job.
Read more from Yahoo Lifestyle:
Follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for nonstop inspiration delivered fresh to your feed, every day.