Kevin Hart has defended himself against the backlash sparked by his tweet of support to Empire actor Jussie Smollett.
Jussie, 35, was hospitalised after a brutal attack in which a noose was put around his neck and bleach was thrown on him, with police confirming that the assault was a possible homophobic and racist hate crime.
In the wake of the attack, Kevin, 39, sent the actor prayers, writing on Instagram and Twitter: ‘Sending prayers your way @jussiesmollett ….This is unbelievably sad.
Why are we going backwards….this is disgusting. We as people have to do better. WTF is going on in the world???? Why are we falling in love with hate???? ‘God damn it people….Choose love…I repeat…Choose love.
I will forever choose love and I will continue to teach my kids how to do the same. Stand strong brother.
However, Kevin’s tweet didn’t go down too well, following the controversy surrounding homophobic tweets of his being unearthed – leading to the comedian stepping down as Oscars host.
One tweet responded: ‘Do you see why the “jokes” weren’t funny now??”, while another person replied with one of Kevin’s past tweets reading: ‘”Yo if my son comes home & try’s 2 play with my daughters doll house I’m going 2 break it over his head & say n my voice ‘stop that’s gay.’”
Podcaster and writer Ira Madison quote-tweeted Kevin’s tweet about Jussie and wrote: ‘Your funniest joke congrats’ – leading to Hart hitting back.
The Upside star responded: ‘I stand with a man in his time of hurt and need by giving him heart felt support and u take the time to harp on my 10yr past that I have apologized about and moved on from by being a better person.
Do you want change? If so I am an example of what u want people to do…CHANGE!’ Ira replied: ‘I “harp” because my community of black queer people face violence 365 in America and when we tried to tell you that we weren’t trolling you but wanted to educate how your jokes lead to actions like what happened to Jussie, you went on Ellen to talk about your wheelchair movie.’
Fans of Hart defended him, praising him for making a change and standing with Jussie.