Hart was promoting his new book, I Can’t Make This Up, Tuesday when the topic turned to comedy in the social media age. The 37-year-old actor acknowledged that, while controversial jokes may have slipped by in the past, comedians are in an era where “viral” means “virus.”
Comedians no longer have a license to say or do whatever they want, Hart said.
“You can play the freedom of speech thing all you want, we can play the ‘we’re comedians, it’s a joke’ thing all we want,” Hart said. “Ultimately, we know what we’re saying and you know the backlash that can come from that.”
Kathy Griffin was fired from several jobs, including a decadelong gig co-hosting CNN’s New Year’s Eve coverage, after she posted a photo of herself holding a bloody head made to resemble President Donald Trump. Only days later, the internet called on HBO to fire Bill Maher after he used a racial slur in a slavery joke.
All this anger afterwards, Hart said, comes from the “bad judgment of a joke.” And the comedian weighed in specifically on why Maher’s joke was “tacky.”
“To say that, and to say that the way that you said it, as comfortable as you said it in a joking form, was wrong,” Hart said. “Granted, you can issue all the apologies you want ... he says it.”
Watch Hart’s full interview below: