Nick Cannon continues to be a loyal defender of his “best friend” Kevin Hart’s decision to step down as the host of the 91st annual Academy Awards, while also calling out the hypocrisy of the Academy’s actions with Hart given their own racist past.
Hart stepped down from hosting duties last week following a backlash from resurfaced homophobic tweets from his past, and pressure from the LGBTQ community. In a string of tweets last week, Cannon called out multiple white female comedians who have also written homophobic tweets in their past with little consequence from the Academy, such as Sarah Silverman, Amy Schumer and Chelsea Handler.
“I had to stand up for my best friend just to show the selective outrage and hypocrisy that’s out there,” Cannon explained while being a guest on the “Wendy Williams Show” on Wednesday. “In moments like this, as a community, we could all grow because there’s a lot
of pain in our communities.”
But Cannon also tells Williams that his defense of Hart goes beyond just backing his friend. He is also irritated by the general hypocrisy and double standard — especially from the Academy itself given its oft-overlooked history of racism.
“We should point the finger at the Academy,” he said. ”They should be held accountable for their past. They treated us wrong for so long.”
He specifically pointed out the fact that the first Black Oscar winner, Hattie McDaniel “had to be segregated” during the 1940 ceremony. She won the Academy Award for her role as Mammy in Gone In The Wind.
Indeed, The Ambassador Hotel, where the 12th Academy Awards were held, had a strict “no-Blacks” policy back then, and the film’s producer David O. Selznick had to call in a special favor to allow McDaniel into the hotel for the ceremony, The Hollywood Reporter writes.
When she arrived at the ceremony, McDaniel was “escorted, not to the Gone With the Wind table — where Selznick sat with…his two Oscar-nominated leads, Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable — but to a small table set against a far wall, where she took a seat with her
escort, F.P. Yober, and her white agent, William Meiklejohn,” according to the magazine.
And this was the hypocrisy that Cannon wanted to highlight.
“We didn’t get an apology for that,” he said of McDaniels’ treatment that night. “Let’s take this moment to learn and to grow for all of these communities.”