Last week, Ellen DeGeneres shocked viewers by defending Kevin Hart after he was fired from hosting the Oscars over his past homophobic comments.
Other members of the LGBTQ community pointed out why that was not okay, especially in light of Hart having apparently never apologized.
Now, Hart is addressing his past words and said those very important words: "I apologize."
In Hart's old stand up, he had told a story of knocking both his son and his son's friend down when they were dancing on each other.
He had also vowed to hit his son over the head with a dollhouse if he caught him playing with one, combining homophobia and child-abuse for his "jokes."
Many people have made regrettable jokes.
The bigger issue for many people was that there is no record of him ever having actually apologized, but simply acted as if he had.
Now, Kevin has done just that -- and he's saying a lot more than I'm sorry.
Speaking on his SiriusXM radio show, Straight to the Hart, the would-be Oscars host claims that he has apologized before.
Hart says that the alleged apologies that he has made in the past were "chopped up" when reported.
"I will say this, and I want to make this very clear," Hart tells his listeners.
"Once again, Kevin Hart apologizes for his remarks that hurt members of the LGBTQ community," he says, referring to himself in the third person.
Then, in the first person, Hart affirms: "I apologize."
That's great! If he'd done that as soon as the Oscars gig was announced, he'd probably be prepping to host.
"Here is how it starts off,” Hart began to explain.
“‘I want to say that I have no problem with gay people," he claims. "I don’t have a homophobic bone in my body."
"I want you to be happy, be gay, be happy.’ And then," he continues. "I say as a heterosexual male, if I can do something to stop my son… that’s where the joke starts!"
"The only clip that I have seen all over the media," Hart says. "Is the one where I go, ‘Stop! That’s gay.’"
Part of the reason that his joke struck a nerve with so many people is that there are plenty of people who are fine with gay people in theory or with gay friends.
Unfortunately, sometimes those people are much less accepting of their own family members being gay, bi, or trans.
"These weren’t words that I said to gay individuals," Hart continues, addressing his past use of a homophobic slur.
"I didn’t say these words to people," he clarifies. "At the time, this was our dumb asses on Twitter going back and forth with each other."
"We thought it was okay to talk like that," he explains. "Because that’s how we talked to one another. In that, you go, f----! This is wrong now."
It was also wrong then. Slurs are bad, and people have known that they wer bad since long, long before Twitter was invented.
"Now we’re in a space where I’m around people of the LGBTQ community, and I’m now aware of how these words make them feel," Hart admits.
He says: "and why they say ‘That s--t hurt because of what I’ve been through.'"
One of the reason that slurs are so awful is that they are often paired with acts of intimidation or violence.
"So then we say, ‘Hey, man, as a group, let’s erase this s--t,’” Hart says.
“‘Hey, let’s not do this," he continues. "We don’t post this s--t on social media.’"
"If the fight from the LGBTQ community is equality, that’s the fight,” Hart affirms.
(The use of the word if there is really, really weird)
“The fight is the will and want for equality. I’m riding with you guys," he states. "I understand you."
"But in the fight for equality, that means that there has to be an acceptance for change," Hart points out.
He is absolutely right.
"If you don’t want to accept people for their change, then where are you trying to get to the equal part?" he asks.
Hart continues, asking: "Where does the equality part come in?"
"I think that in the times that we’re living in, we have to be understanding and accepting of people and change," he concludes.
That is certainly true, though there are good arguments for scrutiny when a change seems either extremely recent ... or possibly disingenuous.
Hart's jokes about homophobic child-abuse in the past came up again because of his appearance on Ellen last week.
Hart claimed at the time that he had "talked about this, this isn’t new. I’ve addressed it."
Though he had addressed those jokes, no one could find any actual record of him apologizing.
As Don Lemon pointed out in a very solid takedown, CNN couldn't find a solid apology. This week's appears to be the first on record.
"Kevin, if anything, this is the time to hear other people out, to understand why they might have been offended," Lemon said on his broadcast.
"And I don’t see any meaningful outreach to the LGBT community," Lemon added. "Not that I know of."
Don Lemon had also pointed out that child abuse brought on by a child's sexuality -- perceived or otherwise -- and a parent's homophobia is no joke.
It's a real thing.
There are elements of this conversation that Don Lemon, who is both gay and black, was ideally suited to discuss.
It's good to remember that Ellen, while a prominent member of the LGBTQ community, is not some sort of faction leader.
She can make mistakes and she does not get to issue decrees or pardons on behalf of millions of Americans.
That said, it is wonderful that this discourse has resulted in Kevin Hart delivering a real, audible, explicit apology.