Kevin Hart Won't Play A Gay Character Because of What People Might Think — But Are His Comments Homophobic?

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 19: Actor/comedian Kevin Hart attends the 'Think Like A Man Too' premiere during the 2014 American Black Film Festival at SVA Theater on June 19, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images)
Source: Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Over the course of his career, Kevin Hart has played a lot of roles, but there's one you will never see him take: A gay character. In a recent interview that's already drumming up a lot of controversy, Hart told radio station Power 105.1 that he isn't up for playing a gay character — and even turned down a role in Tropic Thunder because of it — thanks to "his own insecurities."  And although Hart did issue a disclaimer that he means no disrespect to the gay community by saying this, it's still a little hard to swallow.

When Hart was asked if there were any roles he wouldn't take, he explained he'd never play a gay character. 

"Not because I have any ill will or disrespect, it's because I feel like I can't do that because I don't think I'm really going to dive into that role because of insecurities about myself trying to play that part, does that make sense? Like, what I think people are going to think when I'm trying to do this is gonna stop me from playing that part the way that I'm supposed to." 

While I understand that Hart is essentially trying to say that he wouldn't want to take a role he isn't sure he could do well, his comments do come off as a little homophobic — especially if you read his comments in the way that he's saying he's worried people might think he is gay after seeing him play a male character. Hart would hardly be the first straight man to play gay on screen. After all, many straight and gay actors have played roles that aren't of their sexual orientation. Just look at Neil Patrick Harris — although he's gay, he played straight womanizer Barney Stinson on How I Met Your Mother for nine years. And if Hart can only play characters he can immediately identify with, what does that say about his acting skill? Should he only play male comedians? 

Hart also added that he turned down playing Tropic Thunder's Alpa Chino in 2008 because the role was originally "real flagrant," and in the interest of "being politically correct," added the following comment to his gay fans: 

"I respect and appreciate any and everything that you all do. As people, I love you."

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