Veteran comedian Jerry Seinfeld talked about the Kevin Hart Oscars controversy in an interview on Sunday Today.
“Kevin is in a position, because he’s a brilliant comedian, to kind of decide what he wants to do. He doesn’t have to step down, but he can,” said Seinfeld, via Today.
He also said the Academy is going to have a hard time finding another host like Kevin Hart. Meanwhile, comedians often have to make tough choices regarding politically correct censors.
“Most of the time, comedians, we are expected to be the most agile in terms of how we think and construct our thoughts and what comes out of our mouth,” said Seinfeld. “We have been navigating these slalom gates forever.”
In 2015, Seinfeld spoke on “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” about the rampant censorship in the name of political correctness that goes on on college campuses. He explained why many comedians mentioned by the host no longer perform at colleges and universities.
“I don’t play colleges, but I hear a lot of people tell me, ‘Don’t go near colleges. They’re so PC,’” Seinfeld told the host, according to EW. “They just want to use these words: ‘That’s racist;’ ‘That’s sexist;’ ‘That’s prejudice.’ They don’t know what they’re talking about.”
Seinfeld also told the host that this kind of PC culture is hurting comedy.
Since the Hart controversy, celebrities and other comedians have offered support for or criticism of Hart. Michael Che addressed the situation in his segment on Saturday Night Live.
“Also, if Kevin Hart isn’t clean enough to host the Oscars, then no black comic is,” he said.
The Academy is believed to be considering having no host for the Oscars this year, according to Today. Other options mentioned include a group of hosts. Jimmy Kimmel had nearly ten months to prepare for last year’s Oscars. A new host would have just over two months until showtime.
With such challenges, not hosting the Oscars could be a smart move for any comedian. According to 2013 Oscars host Seth MacFarlane, it could be more trouble than it’s worth.
“Look, it’s a gig that has all eyes on it,” MacFarlane told EW. “And when you’re doing something that’s that much in the spotlight, with that much focus on it, that much intensity, you’re going to have a lot of opinions from a lot of people. I’m trying to think of the last time that I read a review of the Oscars the next day where everyone is raving about it—it’s been a long time.”
MacFarlane also referred to the Oscars and awards shows like it as an outdated and “dusty format” that has a hard time attracting hosts.
Since the controversy first broke, Hart has sold out two shows in Sydney, Australia. He showed his appreciation via an Instagram video that was recorded in front of his Sydney audience.
“All I can say is WOOOOOOOOW…..Thank you so much Sydney Australia….Making the world laugh is forever a priority. Blessed to be able to bring laughter on a international level & do what I love!!!!” he wrote in the text field of the post.