STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Kevin Hart under fire for homophobic tweets

Actor and comedian Kevin Hart responded in an Instagram video after controversial tweets of his resurfaced. CNN's Don Lemon weighs in.

Posted: Dec 7, 2018 3:49 PM
Updated: Dec 7, 2018 4:15 PM

After struggling to find a host for the Oscars, Kevin Hart was briefly in, and then, after some unfortunate old tweets resurfaced, just as quickly out.

From a public-relations standpoint, it's been practically a how-not-to course from all sides, but this fleeting interlude offers a reminder to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences: Don't try to be what you're not.

The Academy Awards are not hip, and they never have been. Yet they have tried to borrow hipness -- and thus reach the sort of viewers who might otherwise roll their eyes at the thought of sitting through the telecast -- by tapping of-the-moment hosts, motivated in part by a desire to reach a younger audience.

At times, strictly in crass commercial terms, that's worked, at least in part. But comics like Chris Rock, Jon Stewart and Seth MacFarlane are an awkward fit with the demands of an awards show and an organizing body -- the academy -- which must serve lots of fairly stodgy constituencies, including ABC and its advertisers, while operating under the microscopic scrutiny of the year's biggest awards stage.

For the past few years, the show essentially settled for the status quo, tapping ABC's genial late-night host, Jimmy Kimmel, to emcee the awards.

Still, with ratings declining sharply last year -- due to a host of factors, most having nothing to do with who handles the monologue and introductions -- there was clearly some hope about jump-starting the process, attracting somebody who would trigger excitement.

The surprise turned out to be that hosting the Oscars is no longer considered a particularly plum assignment but rather a thankless task. And the kind of talents that shepherded the show through simpler times -- Bob Hope, Johnny Carson, Billy Crystal -- are in relatively short supply, especially if the mandate is to find somebody who will inspire "What will they say next?" anticipation in media circles.

What the academy -- and perhaps more so, ABC -- have waffled about accepting or acknowledging is that the movies are the real star of the night, or at least ought to be. And in a year where there's a good chance that there will be big hits, like "A Star is Born," in the mix -- and perhaps even a genuine blockbuster, if "Black Panther" can replicate its Golden Globes feat -- why muck that up with distractions regarding the host or hosts?

The Hollywood Reporter's Stephen Galloway assessed this state of affairs -- in a column headlined, "Why Oscar Host Has Become the Least Wanted Job in Hollywood" -- and came to the conclusion that in the age of Donald Trump, the Academy Awards need a provocateur as host, writing, "It's time the Academy embraced controversy instead of steering away from it."

That's an understandable impulse but a completely wrong-headed one. The Oscars are, ultimately, about celebrating -- and not incidentally, helping sell and market -- movies to a vast, increasingly international audience. So, the best place to start, logically, would be to stop fretting about hosts and embrace the main reason why everyone got all dressed up.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 65436

Reported Deaths: 1848
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds5487116
DeSoto352328
Madison238763
Harrison237835
Rankin222032
Jackson220142
Jones184258
Forrest172155
Washington158237
Lauderdale139090
Lee133232
Neshoba127891
Lamar118414
Bolivar116333
Oktibbeha109037
Lowndes103935
Warren100731
Scott98720
Panola98012
Sunflower96723
Copiah94128
Lafayette93714
Leflore89362
Pike87734
Holmes86348
Grenada83021
Yazoo80712
Pontotoc7918
Lincoln79041
Leake77925
Simpson77930
Wayne74921
Monroe74751
Coahoma69711
Tate69227
Marion63819
Marshall6389
Covington60713
Winston60415
Adams60225
Union56215
George5484
Newton53511
Pearl River52037
Attala51324
Walthall48919
Noxubee44411
Chickasaw44119
Tallahatchie40710
Calhoun4009
Claiborne39913
Smith39413
Prentiss3869
Alcorn3825
Clay38214
Jasper3819
Hancock36314
Tishomingo3505
Itawamba33710
Tippah32513
Clarke32425
Tunica3176
Montgomery3073
Yalobusha30710
Lawrence3067
Humphreys28211
Carroll25411
Quitman2401
Greene23111
Kemper22815
Jefferson Davis2266
Amite2206
Perry2207
Webster21612
Jefferson1946
Wilkinson19413
Sharkey1903
Stone1633
Benton1330
Choctaw1304
Franklin1162
Issaquena251
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 94827

Reported Deaths: 1674
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson12486232
Mobile9420204
Montgomery6449148
Madison516130
Tuscaloosa405769
Baldwin338023
Unassigned319060
Shelby316432
Marshall306034
Lee258844
Morgan229517
Etowah204128
DeKalb174513
Calhoun167213
Elmore167238
Walker149864
Houston134812
Dallas130523
St. Clair128915
Russell12772
Limestone126113
Franklin123820
Cullman118912
Colbert114113
Lauderdale112315
Autauga105021
Escambia104416
Talladega96713
Jackson9244
Tallapoosa84179
Chambers83538
Dale80223
Blount7593
Butler75635
Chilton7456
Coffee7365
Covington71620
Pike6877
Lowndes56724
Barbour5655
Marion56224
Marengo53614
Clarke4949
Hale46426
Bullock45011
Winston44011
Perry4364
Wilcox41410
Bibb4134
Monroe4084
Randolph39410
Conecuh37810
Pickens3779
Sumter36018
Lawrence3321
Macon32013
Washington32012
Crenshaw3123
Choctaw27712
Cherokee2587
Greene24911
Henry2493
Geneva2480
Clay2375
Lamar2122
Fayette1835
Cleburne1251
Coosa1012
Out of AL00
Tupelo
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 82°
Columbus
Clear
76° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 76°
Oxford
Overcast
73° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 73°
Starkville
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 72°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather