May 3, 2014

Mike Epps vs Kevin Hart and the Homophobic Message You Might Have Missed

Recently, comedian Mike Epps was interviewed on the Dede in the Morning show, based out of Dallas (KKDA-FM) where he named Kevin Hart as one of the most overrated comedians. And while that wreckless read may be what most of the world is focusing on at the moment, many people might have missed the shade that accompanied Epps' words. When asked if he would ever kiss a man in a movie, for money, Epps vehemently answers "No."  Check out the six minute clip from the show below for yourself at 3:42 he makes the statement.

3:25 mark
Host:"Ok so let me ask you this Mike because you're talking about stretching yourself as an actor and everything... Is there a role
you wouldn't take like, ok, for instance, would you kiss a man in a movie"

Epps: "No."

But the show's hosts don't let it end there. They press the issue and up the ante on this theoretical dollar amount.

Co-Host:  "Hold up hold up... no matter how much money they were paying you, you wouldn't kiss a man in a movie?"

Epps: "Uh-uh, because after the money is gone, then that's when I start getting suicidal thoughts about what I did." 

The host then says "I was just trying to see how far you would go as an actor." And while it is respectable for an actor to make known the limits to which he or she will go in performance, it becomes a completely different thing when you say that something with which you are uncomfortable should prompt thoughts of suicide.

Mike Epps, we understand that you are a heterosexual male. We also understand that you may have contrasting views with regard to the LGBTQ movement, however, it is completely inappropriate to joke about suicide when gay teens are 8.4 times more likely to report having attempted suicide and 5.9 times more likely to report high levels of depression compared with peers from families that reported no or low levels of family rejection []

The problem here is not Epps' views and opinions on the subject of kissing men. It is the simple fact that while he draws the line in the sand with one hand with regards to what he will and will not do when it comes to becoming a better actor, he, in turn uses the other to backhand the LGBTQ community. For Epps to raise the issue of suicide, even in a joking manner, is in poor taste not only socially, but comically. It wasn't a good joke. It wasn't a funny joke. It was a statement made in poor taste and complete lack of tact. And while he is a comedian and making jokes is his job, suicide is no laughing matter.

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