I'm Sorry (?)

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author/source: Kim Miles

THIS. This is so much bigger than a simple soundbite for the evening news.

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Recently, Ellen DeGeneres had her entire show devoted to one guest: Kevin Hart. She did that deliberately to give him an opportunity to address a very large elephant in the room. In summary, the elephant looks like this:

-On December 7th, Kevin Hart gets asked to host the Oscars and by doing so, he would end up fulfilling one of his lifelong dreams

-The very next morning, 10 year-old homophobic tweets from Kevin’s account resurface triggering a huge controversy and social media firestorm

-The Academy issues Kevin an ultimatum: apologize or they will be forced to find a new host

-Firmly believing that he had already addressed these mistakes and fully apologized for his ignorance at the time of his wrongdoing, Kevin ultimately steps down from the position so as not to be a distraction to the actors who are being awarded for their hard work

-The Academy still has not replaced Kevin Hart with another host. Ellen reveals on her show that she contacted The Academy and that they still very much want Kevin to host the Oscars and Ellen wholeheartedly agrees. She believes that if he doesn’t host, the internet trolls responsible for stirring up the old controversy end up winning.

 

 

PLEASE HEAR ME WHEN I SAY: This post is not about Kevin Hart and whether or not you like him as a comedian or an actor. Nor is this post about the “right or wrong” in this scenario. Homophobic slurs of any kind are wrong. Period. End of story. There is no gray area.

WHAT THIS POST IS ABOUT IS THE CONCEPT OF FORGIVENESS AND THE ABILITY TO MOVE FORWARD. What is forgiveness? How many times in your lifetime have you said, “I’m sorry?” How many times have you said those words just today?? When you say those words, do you actually mean them? Are people really accepting of them? Are you ever guilty of simply saying you’re sorry but not actually meaning it? Perhaps you get into a fight with your significant other and in an effort to simply diffuse an escalating situation, you apologize. Maybe you don’t even truly mean it in that moment. (C’mon, we’ve all done it at least once.)

Kevin Hart went on to Ellen’s show to address this elephant for the final time and to be able to speak his peace. And what he had to say was so thoughtful and logical and heartfelt. It was an incredibly authentic interview and one that prompted me to really look at this from a very different angle. His whole point was the fact that people do and say stupid things, himself included. But for those people who acknowledge said wrongdoing; appropriately apologize; truly learn from the error of their ways; grow from the experience and subsequently change for the better, his argument is that it’s wrong for society to crucify them in perpetuity.  Hence, nobody can possibly move forward or mature if one is constantly judged for one’s past without being given a chance to make good on something in the future.

To be clear, I’m not talking about unforgivable acts of violence or malicious intent. (Although there are plenty of people who grant even the worst offenders forgiveness and that’s remarkable and admirable.) It’s been said that forgiveness is not about the person to whom you are granting it but rather about the ability to let yourself make peace and move forward. Which begs the question: if it is so hard to grant forgiveness for past mistakes, and if forgiveness previously granted can so easily be forgotten, who ends up suffering the most? The offender or the offended? I’m not sure I have an answer in this moment. It has been interesting to witness Kevin Hart’s new relationship with the very same public that initially drove him to step away in the first place. But one thing I know for sure: Kevin said it best when he said, “This is so much bigger than the Oscars.”

Forgive me. But I have to agree with Kevin on that one.

©Copyright 2018 Kim Miles, Founder and CEO, Miles in Heels Productions, LLC