Kevin Hart will always speak out “on behalf of” his true friends.
The 41-year-old star — who has defended Ellen DeGeneres amid her workplace investigation and Nick Cannon after he made anti-Semitic comments on his “Cannon Class” podcast — has opened up about his decision to publicly back the pair during their recent controversies.
Hart told Deadline: “I don’t lose sight of the definition of friendship, and in our business, it’s one thing that people don’t really hold on to.
“There’s a lot of relationships that are fake, and there’s some that are real. In my case, the ones that are real are the ones that I’m always going to be adamant about speaking on behalf of.
“I know the people that both of them are, and knowing the people, all I can say is my experiences with those people.”
The Central Intelligence actor insisted he wasn’t trying to “take away” from other people’s alleged experiences.
He explained: “That’s not to take away from what other people are saying that they have had and that they have done. It’s just to highlight what I’m saying I know, and what I can speak on behalf of.”
Meanwhile, Hart described DeGeneres and Cannon as “two of the most amazing people” he knows.
Reflecting on friendship, he added: “I’m true to it, and it doesn’t mean that you have to speak on behalf of the problem.
“It doesn’t mean that you have to disregard the things that others are saying. It means that I can just speak on my relationship with my friends.
“When it comes to Nick, and it comes Ellen, I know who they are, and I know who they’ve been for the years that I’ve been around them, and I can only speak to that. Those are two of the most amazing people that I know.”
Last month, Cannon apologized for his “hurtful and divisive” comments.
He said: “First and foremost I extend my deepest and most sincere apologies to my Jewish sisters and brothers for the hurtful and divisive words that came out of my mouth.
“They reinforced the worst stereotypes of a proud and magnificent people and I feel ashamed of the uninformed and naïve place that these words came from.”
And DeGeneres — whose daytime talk show has been rocked by claims of a “toxic” workplace — has reportedly apologized to staff who felt she “wasn’t kind.”
The Finding Dory star — who hasn’t been accused of any wrongdoing — has pledged to make the set of the show a “better” place to work, while program bosses are making major changes behind the scenes, and she previously sent a letter of apology to her staff.
[via RollingOut Magazine]