The controversy began after Hart was chosen to be the host of the 2019 Oscars, but old tweets and jokes he made that came across as derogatory toward the LGBTQ community caused a backlash. In response, Cannon cited jokes from Silverman and other comedians that he felt were similar and asked why they were not also being held accountable.
Rather than make a direct statement or comment to Cannon, Silverman shared a Twitter thread by author Greg Hogben — who is gay — that attempts to explain the difference between Hart's jokes and Silverman's from the perspective of someone who would be on the receiving end of them.
Hey @NickCannon, I understand the comparison you’re trying to make between Kevin Hart and these comediennes, but as a gay guy, let me share my opinion with you. This isn’t a rant, it’s more of an explanation of why *I see a difference. pic.twitter.com/9koIr7ewMS— Greg Hogben (@MyDaughtersArmy) December 9, 2018
"Do you remember the first time you saw someone get punched in real life? There was no sound effect 'thwack' like in the movies," Hogben said. "The victim probably didn't do a perfect movie stuntman roll. Could you feel the violence behind it? Recognize the malicious intent to inflict injury?"
"That's what homophobia feels like to me. I can feel the violence. I can feel the malicious intent," he went on to say. "There's been a trend of LGBT allies being accused of homophobia recently. Mostly it's jokes about Trump/Putin relationship."
"Some people saw these jokes as homophobic, some saw them as a humorous way of point out the power imbalance. I think it started with Stephen Colbert's c— holster joke," the author continued, referring to a joke that Colbert made in the past about U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
He also acknowledged jokes by comedian Chelsea Handler, late night TV host Jimmy Kimmel, and pop culture icon Bette Midler, that were in-line with Colbert's joke, and also led the stars to receive backlash.
The Bette Midler - LIFETIME LGBT ALLY GODDESS BETTE MIDLER - was accused of homophobia. pic.twitter.com/yUZzxT48AK— Greg Hogben (@MyDaughtersArmy) December 9, 2018
"The thing is, a lot of gay guys didn't take offence to these comments, because we didn't feel the violence or malicious intent behind it," Hogben then explained. "Because we knew they were jokes. Because we knew these people were LGBT allies."
"In fact I, like hundreds of thousands of gay men, have actually PAID to see comediennes like Joan Rivers or Lisa Lampanelli make jokes that involved gay men," he added. "And we laughed at them, because we knew they were jokes."
We also knew the history and backgrounds of these women. They used their massive platforms to help us long before marriage equality. And continue to do so. To use your examples of Sarah Silverman, Chelsea Handler and Amy Schumer... pic.twitter.com/k5qD1qUFtg— Greg Hogben (@MyDaughtersArmy) December 9, 2018
"I can't say the same for Kevin Hart. I can't find a history of helping at risk LGBT youth. To be honest, his tweets and his stand-up gig saying he'd 'do anything not to have a gay son,' made me bristle," the author said of Hart's jokes. "In short, it *felt malicious."
"I appreciate Kevin Hart's apology and think it's great that he's 'evolved and grown,' but I don't think there's much of a comparison in your tweet," Hogben concluded his thread. "So while I understand your attempt to 'both sides' this issue, I hope you can see why some gay men don't see it the same."
At this time, Cannon does not appear to have responded to Hogben or Silverman.