Sunday, April 18, 2021

Hart and Ferrell Battle Racism, Homophobia Critiques of ‘Get Hard’

will_ferrell_kevin_hart*The idea of Kevin Hart and Will Ferrell teaming up for a movie should be one embraced by people who love comedy.

And while there will be some people who will see and enjoy their new film “Get Hard” (opening Friday, March 27, there will be others who will give the film a thumbs down while agreeing with critics who feel the movie exhibits shades of racism and homophobia.

Those critiquing include The Guardian, which wrote that future moviegoers “”will be astonished that such a negative portrayal of homosexuality persisted in the mainstream in 2015″ as well as Variety, which voiced how “Get Hard” was “undone by some of the ugliest gay-panic humor to befoul a studio release in recent memory.”

“Get Hard” centers on a hedge fund manager (Ferrell) who hires a law-abiding acquaintance (Hart) to prepare him for maximum-security prison after being sentenced for fraud. As noted by The Associated Press, much of the comedy in the film “rests on the Ferrell character’s fears of being raped in prison, and among his preparations is an attempt to have oral sex with a gay man in a bathroom stall.”

Realizing the negative feedback for “Get Hard,” Ferrell and Hart as well as the film’s producers are speaking out to defend the comedy , saying its not a representation of stereotypes but rather a satire of them.

“Any time you’re going to do an R-rated comedy, you’re going to offend someone,” Ferrell, who sat alongside Hart, stated in an interview. “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.”

The AP goes on to point out to compare Ferrell’s characters with Robert Downey Jr.’s character, an Method actor who wears blackface, saying “Ferrell’s character is a parody of the narrow perspective of the elitist one percent.

“He hires Hart’s carwash owner and family man under the mistaken presumption that he’s been to prison, that he’s ‘hard.’“

“You’re looking at two characters that judged each other by their cover,” Hart said. “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.”

For “Get Hard” producer Adam McKay, the backlash and criticism of his film is an example of “lazy journalism.”

“Given that we’re a country with runaway income inequality, more people in jail than any other country, this is what people are crowing about? Trying to in a funny way deal with these issues?” said McKay told the Post in a phone interview with fellow “Get Hard producer Chris Henchy. “It really kind of got me mad. It’s just cheap is what it is.”

McKay went on to break down what “Get Hard” is really getting across as he mentioned that while the film was fashioned as “a silly, filthy comedy” on the surface it’s a satire about income inequality underneath.

Regarding those who claim “Get Hard” is racist, McKay labeled the claims as “kind of ridiculous and disheartening,” since intention of the movie is to parody the people who live in bubbles of wealth and prejudice. As for accusations of “Get Hard” being homophobic, McKay said, “Any individual going to maximum security prison would be afraid of violence and sexual assault. To equate that with homosexuality is ridiculous.”

Despite the racist and homophobia claims, neither the NAACP nor GLAAD have commented on “Get Hard,” the AP reports.

For more analysis on the negative feedback for “Get Hard,” click here.

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