New York Times Editor Says We ‘Need to Forgive’ Kevin Hart

“The truth is, we are all guilty,” Susan Fowler says in a piece which warns there is “no turning back” from the world we are creating

A New York Times editor believes it’s imperative that we forgive comedian Kevin Hart and warned that the precedent set by his public shaming could could set “a dangerous precedent.”

“In holding people accountable for their old views — even ones they realized were wrong and apologized for — we are setting standards that nobody can meet,” Susan Fowler, the paper’s technology op-ed editor, wrote in a Friday opinion piece after Hart stepped down as host of the 2019 Academy Awards following the resurfacing of old anti-gay tweets.

“The truth is, we are all guilty. Can you name a person who has not lied, said something inappropriate or hurt another? I can’t,” Fowler warned. “We must be careful about the world we are creating in the age of social media, especially since there’s no turning back.”

Hart, a comedian, came under withering fire for a series of old tweets from 2010 and 2011. The posts lurked in his timeline, only to explode into public view last week. After a series of botched responses, Hart was forced to step down as host of the Oscars.

“I have made the choice to step down from hosting this year’s Oscar’s….this is because I do not want to be a distraction on a night that should be celebrated by so many amazing talented artists,” he said last week. “I sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past.”

It remains unclear who will replace Hart as host of the awards show, but the comedian has received support from fellow entertainer Nick Cannon, who spent Saturday promoting a number of questionable tweets from white comedians including Sarah Silverman, Amy Schumer and Chelsea Handler.

Before joining the New York Times in July, Fowler worked as an engineer at Uber. She is best known for this essay exposing sexual misconduct at her former employer, which ultimately forced company CEO Travis Kalanick to step down.

Fowler was also named one of Time Magazine’s “Silence Breakers” in its 2017 “Person of the Year” issue.