More Culture:

June 06, 2017

Kevin Hart speaks out on Cosby case, calls Bill Maher 'tacky'

Celebrities Comedians
060617_HartBreakfastClub Breakfast Club/YouTube

Kevin Hart appears as a guest on Power 101.5's "The Breakfast Club" in New York City on June 6, 2017.

North Philadelphia native and superstar comedian Kevin Hart appeared on Power 101.5's "The Breakfast Club" radio show on Tuesday morning as part of the ongoing publicity tour for his new tell-all book about life lessons.

Hart will be in Philadelphia on Wednesday for a book signing and photo event at the Free Library's Parkway Central branch, but before heading home, "Breakfast Club" hosts DJ Envy, Angela Yee and Charlamagne Tha God questioned the actor on a pair of controversies.

With Bill Cosby's sexual assault trial underway in Montgomery County, Hart was asked to respond to the 79-year-old comedy pioneer's complaint that virtually no one in the entertainment world, particularly African-Americans, has come forward to show him their support.

The Cosby trial centers on the allegations of former Temple University employee Andrea Constand, who claims the comedian drugged and molested her at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004. About 60 other women have made similar accusations against Cosby for alleged incidents dating back to 1965, but only one other accuser's testimony was expected to be heard in the current trial.

Painting Cosby's situation as a "messy realm," Hart said, "you don't know what you're stepping up for" in matters of guilt and innocence, especially with such a plethora of women who have lodged accusations.

"Here's the thing, and I'll be honest with you," Hart said. "I don't think comedians are going to bring to justice whatever it is that (Cosby's) looking for ... As a comedian, I can say that Bill Cosby has done so much for comedy and I can say that what is going on with him now is such a tough thing because it tarnishes the reputation of what America's favorite dad was. And that's unfortunate ... We're talking about rape. That's a tough thing."

Hart was also asked about the backlash against political commentator and comic Bill Maher, who jokingly referred to himself as a "house n-----" during a recent episode of HBO's "Real Time." Maher has since apologized for his offhand remark to Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse, who didn't challenge the late-night host in the moment but later said he wished he had. In a sharply worded statement, HBO called Maher's comments "completely inexcusable and tasteless."

"Bill Maher?" Hart said. "You know, I've seen Bill Maher come to the defense of black people on several occasions. That's a bad judgment. Granted, I don't think Bill Maher's a racist, but that's a bad judgment. It's inappropriate and it's not right, so to say that, and to say it the way you said it, as comfortable as you said it in a joking form, you're wrong. Now, granted, you can issue all the apologies you want, (but) you know he says it around friends. It's not something that he's not going to say anymore. But for you to say it on your platform, that's tacky. That's tacky."

As for the controversy surrounding Kathy Griffin, Hart again called it "bad judgment of a joke" and showed surprise that celebrities aren't more aware of the "different monster" of social media. 

Hart's new book, "I Can't Make This Up: Life Lessons," is out today, June 6, via Simon and Schuster.

"The best way to break it down is that your life is a book," Hart told "The Breakfast Club." "You got different chapters in your life. Ultimately, you're going to get to the end of your book. However you want that book to end is up to you."