Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart Defend Get Hard Against Charges It’s Racist, Homophobic

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Get Hard Racist

By Daniel Gates

Get Hard Racist

(Getty Images)

Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart are defending their new movie Get Hard against criticism it’s racist and homophobic. Controversy around the film has swirled in recent days, following some unpleasant reviews and a disastrous SXSW Festival Q&A session with director Ethan Cohen when audience members said Get Hard seemed “racist” and like it was perpetuating stereotypes.

In the movie, Ferrell plays a hedge fund manager who’s sentenced to prison and hires Hart’s character to help him prepare. The joke is that the Hart character, unbeknownst to Ferrell’s, has never been behind bars or in trouble with the law — he’s just black. The film largely revolves around this racially based confusion, as well as the hedge fund manager’s fears about prison rape.

Some reviewers have attacked Get Hard for “gay-panic humor” and its attitude toward race. In a new interview with the Associated Press, Ferrell and Hart defend the movie, set for release on Friday.

“Any time you’re going to do an R-rated comedy, you’re going to offend someone,” said Ferrell. The star continued, “But that’s kind of what we do. We provoke. We prod. We also show a mirror to what’s already existing out there. We’re playing fictitious characters who are articulating some of the attitudes and misconceptions that already exist.”

Hart observed, “You’re looking at two characters that judged each other by their cover. And after peeling off some of the layers to their onion, they realize that, ‘Oh my God, this isn’t the person I thought it was from the jump. It’s a completely different person.’ And that road to friendship ensues.”

“Here’s the beautiful thing about Will and myself: You’re looking at two guys that are no strangers to criticism,” added Hart. “The critic’s job is to critique. I don’t think I’ve ever had a great review on a film that I’ve done. Not one. Everybody always has had something to say. And if they’re not talking, then you have a problem.” Are you planning to see Get Hard?

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