Don Lemon revealed on Monday night that, over the weekend, he spoke to Kevin Hart in an off-the-record conversation, and said that Hart has admitted that it’s not his “dream to be an LGBT+ ally”.
Speaking on his radio show on Monday night, Hart issued another apology to the LGBT+ community over his homophobic tweets from a decade ago, which resulted in him stepping down as host of the Oscars. Speaking on the channel Sirius XM on his show Straight from the Hart, he said:
I will say this, and I want to make this very clear.
Once again, Kevin Hart apologies for his remarks that hurt members of the LGBTQ community. I apologise.
He then added:
I am now moving on from this because I am hoping the apology is accepted. I am not homophobic and never have been.
On Friday, Lemon criticised Hart’s comments after an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, where DeGeneres backed his reinstatement as an Oscars host, causing much anger on Twitter. Speaking on a segment on CNN, Lemon said that apologising wasn’t enough, and that Hart needed to show himself as an LGBT+ ally:
Apologising and moving on does not make the world a better place for people who are gay or people who are transgender. Being an ally does.
On his radio show, Hart directly addressed Lemon’s plea for him to be an ally, saying that it wasn’t ‘his dream’. On the show, he said:
I don ‘t like the forcing.
I don’t like, like Don Lemon goes on CNN, and he’s like, You can fix this, become an ally’. It’s not my dream.
Then, on Monday, Lemon addressed the altercation again, saying that he’d had multiple conversations with Hart over the weekend in a series of ‘off-the-record’ talks, adding that he wouldn’t break their agreement to keep the conversation private, but that he could talk in ‘generalities’.
On the CNN segment, Lemon appeared to defend Hart, and accepted his apology.
It was a mostly off the record conversation because I wanted him to be honest with me.
You may not like the way he said it, [but] he did say, ‘I’m sorry, I apologise.’
He then added:
There are levels to homophobia, just like there are levels to racism.
He said, but it is not his dream to be an ally for the LGBT+ community.
Now, you can take that however you want. You can be upset by it. Whatever. However you want to feel. But that is his right. Whether I like it or not, whether you like it or not, that is his right.
Lemon also said there had been a lot of ‘blowback’ on Hart because of his comments,
So listen, there’s been a lot of blowback.
Kevin backed out of hosting the Oscars, and on some level you can understand that for him, it may feel like he’s under attack.
Because he’s in the middle of it. But I will tell you for me, as I relate to him and I can talk about my part, he’s not a victim.
Finally, he said that if we wish not to be bullied, we shouldn’t be bullies ourselves:
But if we don’t want to be bullied, we can’t be bullies.
You don’t want to turn into what you’re fighting against.
So hold to account, call them out, but you don’t want to bully people. I might get a lot of blowback for that, but I’m just being honest.