Nick Cannon is snatching headlines today after digging up the homophobic tweets of comedians like Amy Schumer, Chelsea Handler, and Sarah Silverman. He did so as a way of showing support for comedian Kevin Hart, who just stepped down as Oscars host over backlash for homophobic tweets from as far back as 2009.
After the internet blew up over the discovery of the old tweets (which he defended as recently as 2015), Hart posted a video on Instagram refusing to apologize, though he says he was asked to do so by the academy. Eventually, he stepped down as host and made the announcement via this tweet:
“I have made the choice to step down from hosting this year’s Oscar’s,” he wrote, “this is because I do not want to be a distraction on a night that should be celebrated by so many amazing talented artists. I sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past.”
The Hart Situation Ignited a Conversation About Platforms and Sensitivity
The reaction to Hart’s old tweets has ignited a conversation about what’s okay to say, when an apology is warranted, and the ways in which we celebrate or criticize public figures. His stepping down has been met with mixed reactions: some were unsatisfied with his apology (or lack thereof), and others think that the whole thing was blown out of proportion by the media and an age of increased sensitivity.
Either way, Hart is out. And it seems that fellow comedian Nick Cannon is in the camp that sympathizes with the would-be Oscars host.
He took to his own Twitter today and dug up some problematic tweets from a few female comedians, raising the question of whether these women should be “canceled” too.
Old Nick Cannon Tweets Show That He was…Ahead of His Time?
Neither Handler, Schumer, or Silverman have yet responded to the call-outs, but some are going further down the hypocrisy rabbit hole by digging up some old tweets of Cannon’s himself. The difference is strange, though. Cannon’s old tweets actually support the LGBT community.
One tweet from 2010 daringly calls out homophobia in the black community. “Honest question:” the tweet reads, “Why are we as Black men so homophobic?” His 2012 tweet had a similar refrain, but this time called out comedians for their regular use of homophobic slurs. “If your best joke includes ‘gay’ or ‘faggot’ you should be kicked of twitter this aint the 3rd grad! #notaninsult #lackofcreativity”.
To stand up for the LGBT community–especially in the comedy industry–back in 2010 and 2012 was much more of a statement than it is these days, and it’s interesting the Cannon was willing to do so back then. The tweets have begged the question, though: why isn’t Cannon holding Hart to the same standard he expressed all those years ago?
Some are Saying that Cannon’s Point is Null
In response to Cannon’s calling out of other comedians with problematic past tweets, some are saying that it’s a false equivalence, and others are going so far as to accuse Cannon of being unwilling to hold a fellow black man accountable and for seeking to tear down women in a problematic knee-jerk reaction of his own.
A popular point is this: if any of these women were set to host the Oscars (an honor that elevates the person and therefore holds them to an even higher standard than their regular status as a celebrity), they would have been asked to apologize just as profusely. And hopefully, they would have.
Here are a few reactions all along the spectrum: