Hollywood is reeling from the homophobic attack on “Empire” star Jussie Smollett, who was allegedly savagely beaten by two men in Chicago in the early hours of Tuesday morning in what’s being described as a hate crime.
Kevin Hart was among many celebrities to address the incident, taking to Instagram to send his prayers to the 35-year-old star, writing, “Why are we going backwards….this is disgusting. We as people have to do better. WTF is going on the world???? Why are we falling in love with hate????”
Hart continued: “I will forever choose love and I will continue to teach my kids how to do the same. Stand strong brother.”
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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 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
While nobody took issue with Hart’s sentiments, numerous people did call him out for the hypocrisy of decrying a homophobic attack in light of the comedian’s well-documented homophobic tweets from nearly a decade ago.
The backlash came quickly, such as this tweet from TV writer Ira Madison III, who referenced Hart’s infamous comments about his fears his son may be gay. “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,'” Hart tweeted in 2011.
Also commenting was filmmaker Sam Greisman, son of Oscar-winning actress Sally Field.
And that was just the tip of the iceberg. Check out more backlash to Hart’s comments about Smollett:
In a Tweet responding to the controversy, Hart says he is an example of change.
“I stand with a man in his time of hurt and need by giving him heartfelt support and you take the time to harp on my 10 year past that I have apologized about and moved on from by being a better person,” he wrote. “Do you want change? If so I am an example of what you want people to do… CHANGE!”