It was early December when people started combing through comedian Kevin Hart’s old — and we do mean old — social media posts in search of some controversy to attach to the recently announced Oscars host.
And they struck gold. Hart was forced to step down from hosting duties after people unearthed “homophobic” tweets like this one from 2011:
Kevin Hart has now deleted this tweet after he was named as Oscars host pic.twitter.com/fxra6gx44E
— David Mack (@davidmackau) December 6, 2018
Yes, there were quite a few old tweets using the words “gay” and “homo” and “fag,” and it was enough to cost Hart the gig. Last we’d heard, the Motion Picture Academy was considering not having a host, which would work out fine, since we won’t be watching anyway.
Variety says a new survey suggests that the controversy isn’t going to do any long-term damage to Hart’s career. Could it be the Twitter Outrage Mob failed?
— Variety (@Variety) January 2, 2019
Data and research provider Spotted found the following:
Spotted’s “consumer approval” metric, which measures a mix of likability, relatability and trustworthiness among U.S. consumers, measured a rebound of nearly 50% for Hart after he apologized.
It helps that Hart didn’t fall too far in the public’s esteem in the first place, registering an 11.55% drop in the immediate wake of the controversy before he apologized. By way of comparison, the average celebrity involved in a 2018 scandal saw a post-scandal (pre-apology) drop in consumer approval of 13%.
In other words, that blew over quickly.
You needed a survey? https://t.co/9x0CgvClsD
— series regular ryan (@writelikeryan) January 2, 2019
Yes, now you get the picture.
— What A. World (@wnderwhynow) January 2, 2019
That’s weird. We were told to hate him. How did that backlash spell not work?
— Lex Jurgen (@MyTerribleWords) January 2, 2019
Yes of course because the rest of the world isn't crazy https://t.co/5maxSg1jLz
— Cameron Gray (@Cameron_Gray) January 2, 2019
Turns out Jerry Seinfeld nailed it when he asked, “Who got screwed in that deal?” “I think Kevin is going to be fine, but find another Kevin Hart, that’s not so easy,” Seinfeld said. “He’s a brilliant guy with a movie career.”
So it is possible to escape the Twitter mob virtually unscathed.
Scolds are killing comedy: Kevin Hart steps down from hosting Oscars after ‘mob’ comes for him because they’re humorless harpies https://t.co/WBIo4Pcpqf
— Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) December 7, 2018