Kevin Hart is getting some support from Australian fans and fellow comedians in the wake of stepping down as Oscars host following his refusal to apologize for his previous homophobic comments and tweets.
Hart returned to the stage for the first time since resigning late Thursday from his role as host of the 2019 Academy Awards, performing stand-up shows in Sydney, Australia, on Friday and Saturday.
The 39-year-old actor posted about the performance in a NSFW video on Instagram Saturday. “Two sold-out shows in Sydney, Australia and I gotta tell you, I’m (expletive) blown away,” he said in the video.
“All I can say is WOOOOOOOOW…..Thank you so much Sydney Australia,” he captioned the video. “Making the world laugh is forever a priority. Blessed to be able to bring laughter on a international level & do what I love!!!!”
Comedian Nick Cannon attempted to defend Hart by resurfacing old tweets from Sarah Silverman, Amy Schumer and Chelsea Handler. The former “America’s Got Talent” host brought up three tweets from the comedians, one from 2012 and two from 2010, with all tweets using a homophobic slur.
“Interesting,” he tweeted alongside a 2010 tweet from Handler. “I wonder if there was any backlash here …”
He added, “And I (expletive) love Wreck it Ralph!!!” alongside a tweet from Silverman, who stars in “Wreck-It Ralph” and the sequel, “Ralph Breaks the Internet.”
Cannon concluded his Twitter digging with a 2012 tweet from Schumer, adding, “I’m just saying … should we keep going???”
Kevin Kline also stood up for Hart, saying that comedy was different even a few years ago.
“People have been making jokes about gay people, about Jews, about Afro-Americans – times are changing, but you know, at certain times, that was common fodder for stand-up comedians,” Kline, 71, told TMZ. “But I think Kevin Hart’s very funny. Lighten up!”
Michael Blackson defended his fellow comedian, saying that black comedians “especially” have made mistakes.
“Why are they giving him a job without looking him up first?” Blackson told TMZ in a video. “Especially black comedians, we’ve all said things in our lifetime, whether it was 10, 20 years ago … at that particular moment it’s probably what was a hot topic to talk about. Go back to the ’80s – Eddie Murphy, Richard Pryor – they made every comment about everything. We’ve all made mistakes. There are no perfect black comedians.”
“There is one perfect black comedian who never said the wrong thing, and look where he is,” Blackson added, referencing Bill Cosby. “He’s in jail!”
Hart stepped down as host just two days after the announcement that he scored the coveted gig.
“I have made the choice to step down from hosting this year’s Oscar’s … this is because I do not want to be a distraction on a night that should be celebrated by so many amazing talented artists,” Hart wrote on Twitter Thursday. “I sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past.”
He said in a video posted online he was told by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to apologize or have his hosting duties revoked. In the span of hours, Hart had stepped down from the prestigious awards show hosting job.
Contributing: Bryan Alexander and Leora Arnowitz
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