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.

Cases: 512632

Reported Deaths: 10262
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34853555
DeSoto33162432
Hinds32556641
Jackson24830389
Rankin22442402
Lee16238242
Madison14874283
Jones14086247
Forrest13741259
Lauderdale12249324
Lowndes11286193
Lamar10644140
Pearl River9707244
Lafayette8827143
Hancock7835132
Washington7550169
Oktibbeha7204138
Monroe6989179
Pontotoc6970109
Warren6849178
Panola6746134
Neshoba6726210
Marshall6653141
Bolivar6440151
Union633897
Pike5924156
Alcorn5862107
Lincoln5525136
George510180
Prentiss500884
Tippah490282
Itawamba4829107
Scott477499
Adams4766125
Tate4748116
Leflore4723144
Copiah455895
Yazoo455591
Simpson4543117
Wayne442772
Covington432895
Sunflower4299106
Marion4265112
Coahoma4227109
Leake413790
Newton395581
Tishomingo381793
Grenada3775109
Stone365666
Jasper340166
Attala337790
Winston317792
Chickasaw313367
Clay311878
Clarke301195
Calhoun284449
Holmes271289
Smith268952
Yalobusha243747
Tallahatchie231453
Greene224749
Walthall221366
Lawrence217840
Perry213356
Amite209557
Webster205148
Noxubee188642
Montgomery181557
Carroll174441
Jefferson Davis173643
Tunica163239
Benton152639
Kemper144941
Choctaw136527
Claiborne134238
Humphreys131139
Franklin124929
Quitman107528
Wilkinson105939
Jefferson96834
Sharkey65121
Issaquena1957
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 844951

Reported Deaths: 16115
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1161002006
Mobile741871379
Madison53279732
Shelby38325368
Baldwin38068589
Tuscaloosa36009641
Montgomery34482781
Lee25550263
Calhoun22585518
Morgan22451406
Etowah20013517
Marshall18777316
Houston17727425
St. Clair16875358
Limestone16135218
Cullman16044303
Elmore15904294
Lauderdale14968306
Talladega14189299
DeKalb12967269
Walker12020380
Blount10714192
Autauga10517157
Jackson10157194
Coffee9414192
Colbert9334208
Dale9018191
Tallapoosa7254201
Russell707765
Chilton7018170
Escambia6955143
Covington6932195
Franklin6340108
Chambers5783142
Marion5401130
Dallas5285209
Pike5118109
Clarke484986
Lawrence4826129
Winston4780110
Geneva4642136
Bibb434094
Barbour369480
Butler3434100
Marengo342393
Monroe337066
Randolph334367
Pickens333188
Fayette330085
Henry320666
Hale318189
Cherokee317563
Crenshaw260477
Washington256952
Cleburne254460
Lamar251253
Clay250869
Macon244764
Conecuh192762
Coosa184947
Lowndes178168
Wilcox177438
Bullock152645
Perry141840
Sumter139241
Greene130245
Choctaw93228
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