By Hollis Wormsby, Jr.
According to a recent Gallup Poll, people who identify as Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Questioning or Queer (LGBTQ) represent about 4.5 percent of the total United States population, and yet in the mainstream media are given a platform to redefine the meaning of sexuality in this country. The LGBTQ community has not fought only for inclusion, they have fought for the exclusion of any viewpoints that do not conform with their own.
Last week comedian Kevin Hart announced that he had been selected to host this year’s Academy Awards ceremony. He noted that it was on a bucket list of things that he had hoped to accomplish. Within hours, representatives of the LGBTQ community dug up old tweets and comments from Hart regarding his views on homosexuality and demanded that unless he fall to his knees and beg for forgiveness the invitation should be revoked.
As a comedian, Hart told jokes about the possibility his son could turn out to be gay. He was emphatic he would do all he could as a black man to ensure that this did not happen. He also noted that if he saw his son playing with a doll he would take the doll away and tell his son how gay that looked. I don’t see any place where he encouraged anyone to deny any right to anyone because of their sexuality and for that the LGBTQ community wants to take away some aspects of his living even going so far as to post on social media asking Nike, the footwear, clothing, apparel, equipment giant, to dismiss Hart from promoting its brand.
Let it be noted that Hart apologized for the insensitivity of these remarks when they first came out years ago, and there is no evidence he has used material involving his viewpoints on homosexuality in his routine since, even though he is at the height of his popularity and there is a mountain load of his recent work available to review.
Actor, comedian, entrepreneur Nick Cannon came to Hart’s defense showing old tweets from several female comediennes that could be perceived as homophobic. However, and this is almost hard to believe, representatives of the LGBTQ community said those comediennes deserved a reprieve because they were only joking and had been supportive of the LGBTQ community. I agree with the person who said, “So now the LGBTQ community gets to make a list of who can and cannot make jokes that they might feel are insensitive, and I guess the rest of us need to check this list before we decide who is funny or not.”
The LGBTQ community is entitled to protections. People should not be physically or verbally attacked because of the way they choose to live their lives. People should also not lose their livelihoods because they choose to non-violently express views that the LGBTQ community does not agree with.
I don’t usually support the idea of Go Fund Me campaigns, but if someone were to start a Go Fund Me Campaign to sponsor a Kevin Hart one man show at the same time as the Academy Awards this year, I might be the first to donate. At least that’s the way I see it.
Hollis Wormsby has served as a featured columnist for the Birmingham Times for more than 29 years. He is the former host of Talkback on 98.7 KISS FM and of Real Talk on WAGG AM. If you would like to comment on this column you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.