Today In Problematic Kevin Hart: Gaslighting Our Country Prince Lil Nas X's Sexuality

Seems like he's learned nothing from the Oscar fiasco.

Another week, another moment where Kevin Hart’s mouth has gotten him into trouble. Both he and Lil Nas X appeared on HBO’s unscripted talk show, The Shop: Uninterrupted, and the conversation turned towards the rapper’s sexuality and his decision to come out as gay while at the top of the world.

But before Nas X could reply, Kevin chimed in with, “He said he was gay, so what?” As the rapper explains how he grew up to “hate this s**t,” Kevin interrupts again by asking “Hate what?”

As Nas X says “Homosexuality. Gay people,” Kevin responds with “Why?”

Hoo boy. You really Kevin Hart-ed it there, champ.

With the patience of a saint, Nas X explains the situation as clear cut as possible so even someone like Kevin Hart could “get it.”

“Come on now. If you’re really from the hood you know. You know it’s not some—it’s like, for me, the ‘cool dude with the song’ on top of everything to say this… any other time, I’m doing this for attention… if you’re doing it at the top, then you know it’s for real. And it’s showing that it doesn’t matter, I guess.”

Credit to Lil Nas X for his unfazed response because he didn’t deserve to be put in a situation where he had to defend his decision to come out. His explanation was a masterclass on gaslighting and how LGBTQI people deal with this sort of problem all the time.

You’d think Kevin would’ve learned something about how homophobia after his Oscar host fiasco but that’s giving him way too much credit. More than that, this exchange is a snapshot of a big problem LGBTQI people face when it comes to revealing their sexuality.

While Kevin’s response to Lil Nas X’s explanation wasn’t homophobic per se, it was a form dismissive gaslighting of the problem. Instead of tackling the issue head on, he tried to reframe the conversation as unimportant and non-existent, thus wiping his hands of all fault and normalising the idea that this issue was always accepted.

It’s a dangerous rhetoric that people like Kevin employ as a way to justify their own ignorance on something.

And on a final note, screw those athletes and celebrities who put Lil Nas X on the spot. Not only did they learn nothing about gaslighting or the LGBTQI community after the conversation but the subsequent flex to praising Kevin for picking himself up after his failures is just gross.

The way forward from an LGBTQI problem like this is to listen, empathise and understand. But as this whole Kevin Hart/Lil Nas X shows, it’s hard for that to happen when the guy you’re explaining yourself is not only refusing to learn from their past mistakes on the issue but they’re actively interrupting you all the damn time.

Never Forget: Ricky Gervais Was A Bonafide Pop Star In The Philippines Before The Office

He's definitely an entertainer first, a friend second and a boss third.<br />

Ricky Gervais is perhaps best known these days as the crass, unshaven bloke from Britain who makes offensive jokes for a living and created groundbreaking TV shows like The Office and Extras.

But before the politically incorrect gags at the Golden Globes, before The Office, and before that notorious ear-piercing, high-pitched laugh of his, Gervais was a bonafide pop star who rocked glittery eye shadow and no facial hair, had a six-pack instead of a beer gut, and who sung songs about heartbreak instead of tunes about picking up girls while driving across America.


The year was 1982 and Gervais decided to form a New Wave band with his pal, Bill Macrae, called Seona Dancing because that’s what bored uni students did back in the day apparently.

The duo dabbled in the synth-heavy, highly stylised pop sound that was all the rage of that era. Unfortunately for them, Seona Dancing released only two singles, ‘More to Lose’ and ‘Bitter Heart’, both of which failed to be more than footnotes in the history of the New Romance period of pop music in the 80s. Turns out doing the same thing as everyone else isn’t the recipe for success.

Despite the glam, the synths and Gervais’ surprisingly good voice, the best thing critics had to say about Seona Dancing was that they were “an obvious rip-off of David Bowie” and the duo broke up shortly after in 1984.

While Gervais later went on to create The Office, his pop star days weren’t over just yet.

In 1985, a DJ in Manila began playing a song on the radio called ‘Fade’ by Medium and it quickly caught fire among the New Wave-loving Filipino youth. It became a staple at New Wave parties all around Manila and unexpectedly became a source of happiness to all the young people who were disillusioned by the political and economical crises going on in the Philippines at the time.

It was later revealed that ‘Fade’ was actually none other than ‘More to Lose’ by Seona Dancing and the DJ in Manila had given it a made up name in order to prevent rival radio stations from tracking it down and playing it themselves.

So without any effort, Ricky Gervais somehow became a massive pop sensation in the Philippines after he had failed at doing it back home. Talk about failing your way upwards.

Seona Dancing continues to resonate in the Philippines, so much so that the Philippine Daily Inquirer interviewed Gervais in 2014 and all they chatted about was his status as a one-hit wonder in Manila.

Looking back on it, Gervais says he was glad that pop stardom didn’t exactly work out the way he wanted because it meant he could lose the slim bod, grow seedy facial hair, be funny and famous in another field that he excelled at, and live out whatever pop star dreams he once had as David Brent.

“I am living the pretend dream, through David Brent. That’s even more fun. I think rock is quite tongue-in-cheek, anyway. I am almost glad [being a pop star] didn’t quite work out.

“If I was a rock star when I was 20, I would be dead now.”

It’s almost a shame Seona Dancing never took off (other than in the Philippines) but getting shows like The Office and old photos of Ricky Gervais looking like, well, a David Bowie knock-off is a pretty good consolation prize.

It: Chapter Two Cut Out Sub-Plots From The Novel That Would've Helped The Film

A case where more could've been better.

Let’s get it out of the way first up – It: Chapter Two is a pretty faithful adaptation of the second half of Stephen King’s novel and a satisfying conclusion to the story set up by It: Chapter One.

While the 170 minute running time is a bit much, there’s much to love about the film. Everything looks and sounds simply gorgeous, the direction is sublime and any worries about the adult Losers are unfounded as the entire cast put on great performances.

Yes, Bill Hader does kill it as an adult Richie Tozier but the whole ensemble of James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain, Isaiah Mustafa, Jay Ryan, James Ransone, Andy Bean and of course, Bill Skarsgård all nail their characters.

But having said all that, It: Chapter Two makes some interesting creative decisions regarding what material to adapt and what to cut. The end result is, oddly enough for a film that’s nearly three hours long, a product that could’ve adapted more of the source material in order to better flesh out the story.

For all the attempts at streamlining the narrative, altering of parts of the novel resulted in a movie that occasionally made inefficient use of its runtime.

So without further ado, here are some of the notable subplots that have either been cut out or dramatically changed for the film, all would’ve enriched the film had they been fully adapted or left untouched.

Since we’re going to dive deep into all things It: Chapter Two, there will be SPOILERS from here on out.

You’ve been warned.

It: Chapter Two cut character-heavy subplots involving Bill and Beverly’s spouses

We briefly see Bill’s wife, Audra, at the beginning, as well as Beverly getting into a physical altercation with her abusive husband, Tom. While this seemingly sets them up as important characters, Bill and Beverly’s spouses are never seen again in It: Chapter Two.

That’s a big shame as the novel has both Audra and Tom both make their way to Derry before ending up in the crosshairs of Pennywise, which adds an extra layer of dramatic tension.

Perhaps more importantly, the two spouses were a way to explore Bill and Beverly’s relationship, as well as an avenue to explore the character development of both characters in the 27 years they’ve been apart, particularly how Beverly overcomes her history of abuse.

In the end, all we got is a very shallow look at how Bill and Beverly’s initial attraction from It: Chapter One has evolved, how it’s affected their relationships as adults, and an undercooked conclusion in Beverly’s character arc where she leaves Tom for Ben (Tom is killed by Pennywise in the novel).

The importance of Derry in Pennywise’s cycle of violence is gone

While It: Chapter One and It: Chapter Two make constant references to Derry, the town’s importance in Pennywise’s cycle of violence is essentially gone.

Stephen King used Derry as a metaphor for what is wrong in American society and it is the hate projected by the town that feeds Pennywise. Lore-heavy stuff like the burning of an African American nightclub, the Black Spot in 1930, and the bashing of a gay couple in 1985 were all intrinsically tied to Pennywise’s large scope of evil. Just as how people’s fear fed It, so did the society of Derry.

While the films touch on these events briefly (the gay bashing opens It: Chapter Two), they hold far less weight and the attention is instead shifted towards the characters’ internal traumas.

This focus on an internal struggle rather than an all-encompassing external and internal fight, while quite interesting, ultimately diminishes Pennywise’s evil as depicted in the book. As terrifying as he/it is in the films, Pennywise is literally nothing more than a monster who feeds on evil and looks like a clown.

It: Chapter Two’s ending is quite different compared to the novel

The film’s ending sees the house in which the final battle against Pennywise takes place collapse and the Losers all say a quiet, sentimental farewell to each other and Derry as they finally move on from their shared ordeal.

By contrast, the novel concludes with Derry getting hit with the worst storm in the town’s history, signifying that Pennywise’s influence is finally dying. The Losers all leave and gradually forget about Derry, Pennywise and eventually each other.

This creative choice ties into the previous point about Derry. With the town no longer as important in the films, there was no need to destroy everything and a sentimental farewell was more befitting of It: Chapter One and It: Chapter Two’s central theme of childhood trauma. Plus it would’ve been super expensive and Warner Bros. aren’t about to spend an extra $50 million just to destroy a town. This isn’t a Superman film after all.

Whether it is the better conclusion depends on your mileage but it certainly would’ve been amazing to see Derry’s apocalyptic fate as depicted in the novel.

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