In an effort to defend Kevin Hart, Cannon did some digging and found an old tweet posted by Silverman that used homophobic language.
Sarah Silverman has responded to Nick Cannon resurfacing a tweet from 2010 in which she used a gay slur, which read, "I don’t mean this in a hateful way, but the new Bachelorette’s a f—t."
In an effort to defend Kevin Hart — who stepped down from hosting the 2019 Academy Awards after his past homophobic comments came back into the spotlight — Cannon did some digging and found old tweets posted by Silverman, Chelsea Handler and Amy Schumer, in which they also used gay slurs. Cannon retweeted them along with messages wondering "if there was any backlash here."
Cannon’s tweets reflected a belief, held by some, that the response to Hart was an example of how people of color are held to a different standard both in society and the media.
Although Silverman’s response to Cannon was not direct, the comedian did retweet a lengthy thread from British author and LGBTQ+ advocate Greg Hogben, who defended her in the wake of the controversy and explained what he saw as the difference between what she said and what Hart said.
"Hey Nick Cannon, I understand the comparison you’re trying to make between Kevin Hart and these comediennes, but as a gay guy, let me share my opinion with you. This isn’t a rant, it’s more of an explanation of why *I see a difference," Hogben wrote. "Do you remember the first time you saw someone get punched in real life? There was no sound effect ‘thwack’ like in the movies. The victim probably didn’t do a perfect movie stuntman roll. Could you feel the violence behind it? Recognize the malicious intent to inflict injury? That’s what homophobia feels like to me. I can feel the violence. I can feel the malicious intent."
"There’s been a trend of LGBT allies being accused of homophobia recently. Mostly, it’s jokes about Trump/Putin relationship," he continued. "Some people saw these jokes as homophobic, some saw them as a humorous way of point out the power imbalance. I think it started with Stephen Colbert’s cock holster joke."
Hogben then shared the "Late Show" clip of Colbert saying that the only thing President Donald Trump’s "mouth is good for is being Vladimir Putin’s cock-holster."
"Then Chelsea Handler and Jimmy Kimmel were accused of being homophobic with the same joke," Hogben continued, sharing screenshots of both comedians using similar verbiage in tweets about Trump.
"Then Bette Midler — LIFETIME LGBT ALLY GODDESS BETTE MIDLER — was accused of homophobia," he added, also sharing a screenshot of Midler poking fun at the relationship between POTUS and Russia’s leader.
"The thing is, a lot of gay guys didn’t take offense to these comments because we didn’t feel the violence or malicious intent behind it. Because we knew they were jokes. Because we knew these people were LGBT allies," Hogben wrote. "In fact, I, like hundreds of thousands of gay men, have actually PAID to see comediennes like Joan Rivers or Lisa Lampanelli make jokes that involved gay men. And we laughed at them because we knew they were jokes. We also knew the history and backgrounds of these women. They used their massive platforms to help us long before marriage equality. And continue to do so. To use your examples of Sarah Silverman, Chelsea Handler and Amy Schumer…"
Hogben shared photos of the three comedians speaking publicly about LGBT rights, adding, "I can’t say the same for Kevin Hart. I can’t find a history of helping at risk LGBT youth. To be honest, his tweets and his stand-up gig saying he’d ‘do anything not to have a gay son’ made me bristle. In short, it *felt malicious."
"I appreciate Kevin Hart’s apology, and think it’s great that he’s ‘evolved and grown,’ but I don’t think there’s much of a comparison in your tweet," Hogben concluded. "So while I understand your attempt to ‘both sides’ this issue, I hope you can see why some gay men don’t see it the same."
Speaking about her material from years ago, Silverman recently told The Guardian, "All I can do is learn from it, be changed forever by it, and do what I can to make it right going forward."
"Certainly, stuff that I did 10 or 15 years ago, I cringe at now," she continued, adding that she now sees the jokes "very differently."
Silverman also told Variety just last month that she doesn’t mind holding herself accountable for her past remarks, explaining, "I feel like unless you can admit to those things, you can’t be changed by them and you can’t even forgive yourself for them."
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