The controversy surrounding Kevin Harts brief tenure as host of the 91st Academy Awards continued into the weekend, as S.N.L.s Michael Che—and most recent host of the Emmys— came to the comedians defense in Saturdays “Weekend Update.” Hart stepped down following renewed controversy over a series of past homophobic tweets, and Che argued that the Academy acted hypocritical in pressuring him to apologize.
“Didnt the Academy nominate Mel Gibson for an award just last year?” Che said, referencing Gibsons own infamous anti-Semitic remarks that somehow didnt get in the way of a best director nomination for Hacksaw Ridge in 2017. (Ricky Gervais, the three-time Golden Globes host who reveled in his willingness to offend, made a similar joke on Twitter.) Che went on to suggest “if Kevin Hart isn't clean enough to host the Oscars, then no black comic is,” buttoning the piece with a joke about Bill Cosby being “booked for the next three to 10 years.”
Granted, Che seems to miss that Hart stepped down of his own volition, having declined Academy suggestions to apologize to the LGBTQ community. Harts bizarre Twitter and Instagram responses even doubled down on that refusal, claiming hed “addressed this several times” in the past. (He eventually did apologize, though after hed stepped down from the job). And while poorly aging tweets remain a difficult subject for plenty of famous people hired for high-profile jobs, its also worth remembering Che has his own history with controversial remarks that inspired backlash to his and Colin Josts Emmys gig in September.
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