Kevin Hart, a well-known comedian, and actor, recently tackled the role of an educator in Netflix’s new original movie, Kevin Hart’s Guide to Black History. This Netflix original movie premiered on February 8, immediately appearing on Netflix’s trending list. Kevin Hart’s Guide to Black History is a comedy special that highlights lesser-known heroes in African American history. But, because of Hart’s controversial past, people have mixed feelings about his new take on black history.
In this film, Hart portrays the father of a twelve-year-old girl, Riley. In the movie, after Riley and her white friend watch Twelve Years a Slave, Hart teaches her about essential contributions of African American heroes.
The feedback was positive and praised the hilarious and family-friendly production. However, Hart’s reputation has influenced the public’s perspective on the movie based on their feelings about the actor.
A few years ago, Kevin Hart caused a Twitter frenzy because of his homophobic comments made before hosting the Oscars.
In 2015, during a Rolling Stone interview, he said, “Keep in mind, I'm not homophobic... Be happy. Do what you want to do. But me, as a heterosexual male, if I can prevent my son from being gay, I will.”
People were offended and outraged. People debated and commented that somebody else should host The Oscars. Because of the hate, he was receiving, Hart stepped down from his position, tweeting, “I sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past.” Although he apologized, several people did not forgive him.
Not only this, Hart received backlash for throwing his son a “Cowboys and Indians” party for his first birthday.
“I do not watch or support Kevin Hart after his controversial homophobic comment regarding his son. His actions are irreversible, and he does not deserve any attention,” said Felix Gaddie, XIIIs.
As a result, many people view Hart in a negative light which affects feedback on Kevin Hart’s Guide to Black History.
Although most of the comments and reviews have been positive, some people feel that Kevin Hart’s Guide to Black History is a copy of other productions or is too cheesy or boring.
On IMDb, a popular entertainment database, users commented things like, “It's pretty much awful and another example of today's medias forcing agendas on people (dear white people, etc.) Reaching hard for humor, bad set up and inaccurate information,” and “Unfortunately this is just a bad copy of ‘Latin History for Morons: John Leguizamo's Road to Broadway.’”
Many of these comments also suggest that the history talked about in the film was entirely inaccurate or that Hart mocks the importance of Black History and treats it as a joke.
“It is important to learn about Black history, but Kevin Hart's humor, --as it appears in the trailer -- seems to trivialize that history, by reducing it into a joke. I don't think we have to have solemn, self-righteous seriousness, but I do think we also don't need to make a joke of people's -- black, brown, or yellow -- achievements,” said Ann Roberts, XIIIs teacher.
As you can see, there has been a lot of controversy about this new film, between Kevin Hart’s previous comments and mixed feelings about his movie from viewers.
Despite Hart’s past and negative comments, there is no doubt that his new Netflix original movie was a hit among the majority of viewers. From puppet shows to comedy skits, many forms of entertainment were used in this movie to comically express the importance of black history, appealing to a variety of audiences, especially kids.
This movie is a fresh way to educate kids, engaging them with skits and jokes, contrasting from their daily routine of listening to dry facts in a classroom.
“It looks like a really fun way to learn about some of the unsung heroes of Black History. I think it is great that the film is trying to take a unique approach to Black History and tell stories that people are less likely to have heard,” said Roly Levy, XIIIs.
The historical figures showed in the movie are not well-known as the ones kids usually learn about. Names such as Josephine Baker, George Crum, and Robert Smalls are not very popular, even though they were significant in African American history, which is why Kevin Hart speaks about them in this film, showcasing the accomplishments of lesser-known African American heroes.
So, if you are looking for something to watch on Netflix, Kevin Hart’s Guide to Black History is a hilarious and fun way to learn about unsung black heroes in history, putting your feelings about the actor/comedian aside.
Sources: UsaToday, Newsela, Imdb