Ellen DeGeneres Does Not Speak for the LGBTQ Community on Kevin Hart

Ellen DeGeneres

Ellen DeGeneres has forgiven Kevin Hart — but many in the LGBTQ community do not feel the same way.

The lesbian comedian stirred a backlash when she invited Hart on her talk show to discuss the controversy surrounding his decision to step down as host of the Oscars. Previously, a series of troubling antigay tweets from Hart's past emerged, and the actor was accused of failing to sincerely apologize for them.

"I believe in forgiveness. I believe in second chances. And I believe in Kevin Hart,” reads the post introducing the clip of the interview on DeGeneres’s social media. 

“When it first happened, my first thought is I’m going to ignore it because it’s 10 years old. This is stuff I’ve addressed,” Hart told DeGeneres. “I’ve talked about this. This isn’t new. I’ve apologized for it.” 

Hart was talking about having apologized for tweets that included one in which he “joked” about enacting violence on a gay son. "Yo if my son comes home & try's 2 play with my daughters doll house I'm going 2 break it over his head & say n my voice stop that's gay,” Hart tweeted in 2011. 

In a nearly five-minute speech, Hart again went on the defensive, reiterating that the resurfaced tweets were part of a "slander" campaign from trolls and that that he didn't have a "homophobic bone" in his body. 

“I’m not that guy,” he said. 

“I know you’re not that guy because I know you,” DeGeneres replied. “You should host the Oscars, and I’m going to talk you into it after this.” 

DeGeneres may be a beloved public figure and a pioneer in the modern LGBTQ movement — and it should be noted that the out talk show host did not explicitly present herself as an ambassador of the community in this instance.

However, many LGBTQ folks — and in particular, queer people of color — made clear that DeGeneres did not speak for them in giving Hart her endorsement.

"Ellen DeGeneres isn’t the queer savior everyone likes to think she is and Kevin Hart has a lot more growing to do," Tre'vell Anderson wrote in an op-ed for Out magazine, The Advocate's sibling publication.

Anderson added, "I’m not one to tell many people to 'stay in your lane,' but Kevin Hart is a Black man who once 'joked' he’d break a doll house over the head of his Black son; my granny once said 'truth is always told in jest.' As a Black queer someone who, when my body began to manifest aspects of my identity even I was unaware of — a sway in my walk, a bend in my wrist — was punched in the chest by Black men in my family and told to 'man up,' Ellen can’t and doesn’t speak for me."

Many were also critical that DeGeneres did not push back on Hart's argument in the interview or use the conversation as an opportunity to address societal stigma. Read more reactions below.

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