Like every year, Oscars 2019 was an action-packed event with many highs and talking points. Be it the host-less ceremony, a documentary on menstruation from India bagging gold and Billy Porters's tux gown, many such interesting tidbits surfaced during the 91st Academy Awards.
However, one thing that seems to have caught the attention of the internet is a golden statue of actor and comedian Kevin Hart holding a rainbow Pride flag that appeared a few blocks from the Oscar venue on Hollywood Boulevard before the event.
Titled 'Hollow Apology', the unauthorised installation is meant to draw attention to Hart's insensitive and homophobic comments that cost him the Oscars. Hart, who was supposed to host this year's ceremony, stepped down following outrage regarding some old tweets he had made which were dubbed 'homophobic' and resurfaced in December last year after he was announced as the host.
After seeing this @benfraserlee tweet, I did a search for every time Kevin Hart tweeted "fag," "homo," or "gay." It was…a lot. And he seems to have basically stopped tweeting those words after 2011 — i.e. the year his first stand-up movie became a hit. https://t.co/P8nTOilFgx pic.twitter.com/6uzPhnvt4F— Adam B. Vary (@adambvary) December 5, 2018
Hart had announced then that he would be stepping down from his hosting duties as he did not want to call attention away from the talented people to be awarded that night. He had also apologised for his previous comments and the hurt they may have caused to the LGBTQIA+ community.
However, his apology seems to have fallen on flat ears as the anger regarding his comments refused to die down despite him not being a part of the Oscars. The 'Hollow Apology' statue was created by LA street artist Plastic Jesus in collaboration with Joshua “Ginger” Monroe.
The guerilla artist Plastic Jesus has been responsible for a number of shocking and powerful works of street art over the past few years. During last year's Oscar's the artist put up a statue of Me Too accused Harvey Weinstein sitting on chair outside the venue.
Photos of Hart's photo were posted on Platic Jesus's Instagram account. The artist was also behind the naked Trump statues that went in many sites in US prior to the 2016 elections and the installation wall that was propped up around Trump's star on Hollywood Blvd.
According to a statement given to Out magazine, the artist said that Hart's statue was created because they felt the comedian's apology was not adequate enough with respect to the comments he made. Plastic Jesus said that the idea behind the Oscar installations was to make Hollywood and the entertainment industry reflect and look at itself more minutely in order to "assess what it's doing right or wrong".