Kevin Hart is opening up about his decision to defend his friends Ellen DeGeneres and Nick Cannon amid their respective scandals.
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In an interview with Deadline published Tuesday, the comedian, 41, doubled down on his defense of his famous friends and spoke out against cancel culture, saying he knows who Cannon and DeGeneres truly are.
“I don’t lose sight of the definition of friendship, and in our business, it’s one thing that people don’t really hold on to,” he said. “There’s a lot of relationships that are fake, and there’s some that are real. In my case, the ones that are real are the ones that I’m always going to be adamant about speaking on behalf of.”.
On Aug. 4, Hart posted to Instagram a picture of himself with DeGeneres on her talk show, writing that “this hate (expletive) has to stop.”.
Several employees at “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” came forward last month with allegations of a toxic workplace environment, and three executive producers have since been ousted from the show.
In a videoconference with her staff Monday, DeGeneres, who said in an apology to her staff July 30 she was adamant about “ensuring this does not happen again,” expressed her sorrow for hurting anyone’s feelings, admitted her imperfection and pledged to learn from her mistakes. Season 18 of the talk show premieres Sept. 14.
Hart has also been open on Instagram about supporting Cannon.
During an episode of his podcast in June, Cannon promoted anti-Semitic conspiracy theories about the Rothschild family and praised Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan and his ideology. (The Southern Poverty Law Center recognizes Nation of Islam as a “hate group.”) Cannon also said that “people that don’t have (melanin) are… A little less.”.
Cannon ultimately apologized and announced time away from his radio program as his upcoming talk show was pushed back.
‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ ousts three top producers amid toxic workplace accusations.
Hart told Deadline he knows what kind of people his friends are, despite the accusations against them.
“All I can say is my experiences with those people,” he continued. “That’s not to take away from what other people are saying.”.
Hart also discussed his own experiences with cancel culture. In 2018, the comedian stepped down from hosting the Academy Awards after old tweets of his resurfaced which were criticized as homophobic.
Nick Cannon has talk show postponed, meets with rabbi after anti-Semitic comments.
“In times like this, I know also how dark it gets,” he said. “I know how lonely it gets, because I know that these are times when people just turn their back on you. So for the ones that you love, that are close to your heart, you just want them to have some support, when it seems that there is none out there, and that’s just who I am as a person.”.
Hart noted he believes he can speak about his relationship with his famous friends, without disregarding “the things that others are saying.”.
“When it comes to Nick, and it comes Ellen, I know who they are, and I know who they’ve been for the years that I’ve been around them, and I can only speak to that,” he said. “Those are two of the most amazing people that I know.”.
Kevin Hart steps down as Oscars host amid backlash from past homophobic tweets.