It turns out, what viewers want to see in a documentary about Kevin Hart is not the same thing as what he wants to show.
That much is obvious when you watch his six-episode documentary series “Kevin Hart: Don’t F**k This Up.” (Hart serves as executive producer.) The episodes, streaming now on Netflix, promote Hart’s upcoming projects and show how hard he works to keep his businesses afloat, all while including his friends on his road to success.
What could the series have shown? Perhaps more of Hart taking responsibility for his well-publicized mistakes, instead of going on about how “perfection doesn’t exist.” But there are some things you can learn from the series:
Kevin Hart’s car accident is MIA
In September Hart was hospitalized for 10 days and had to undergo rehabilitation. “Don’t F**k This Up” was shot before that crash and producers did not go back and address Hart’s major life event. Instead, the series ends on Hart gifting cars to members of his team and looking toward the future.
Hart’s thoughts on the Oscars brouhaha remain convoluted
“Don’t F**k This Up” doesn’t explore Hart’s Academy Awards hosting brouhaha until the final episode, despite the topic being teased in the first episode. Episode 6 is meant to serve as a marker of the growth that Hart has undergone since years-old homophobic tweets of his were resurfaced at the end of 2018. Hart initially refused to apologize to the LGBTQ community because he felt that he had given an ample apology in the past.
In the series, a gay executive at Hart’s production company, Carli Haney, acknowledges that her boss made mistakes and said harmful things, but says Hart has since changed his ways and become more “open.” She adds there are LGBTQ-friendly projects “on our slate that we would not have had a year ago.”
Hart’s team balked at his Oscars strategy
Once Hart learned that the Academy wanted him to apologize for his old homophobic tweets, he posted an Instagram video from his bed in Melbourne. Sleepily, he spoke directly to his fans about how he shouldn’t apologize for things he’s said in the past, because “people evolve.”
As the docu-series shows, his team did not support Hart’s independent PR move.
“All he did was poke the bear on that one,” his brand manager Wayne Brown says. Hart’s publicist, Haley Hileman adds, “He needs to just shut up and put his head down for the next few weeks.”
Writer Harry Whitford’s take: “Tonally, you should be more sorry.”
Nine days after Hart stepped down from the Oscars hosting position, he had an emergency meeting with his production company. He defended his behavior to them, saying, “My last 10 years there’s been no homophobic tweets or slander or anything… Me apologizing again isn’t being sensitive to the gay community at all.”
Hileman, the publicist, openly disagrees.
“You are one of the most famous people in the world. There are still people who don’t know who you are and aren’t familiar with your comedy now, what you make and what you stand for.”
Hart ultimately released a written apology and opened up on “Ellen” about his behavior. He also refused to address the controversy on “Good Morning America.” None of those moves were well received.
Hart’s wife learned he was cheating via DM
Hart’s documentary doesn’t get into detail about “what happened in Vegas,” but alludes to the fact that the celebrity did get caught on tape with another woman in August of 2017. And Hart does talk about how an unnamed one-time friend was charged with extortion for allegedly shooting a sex tape of Hart and threatening to release it. Those charges from Los Angeles County prosecutors against Jonathan Jackson have since been dropped.
Shortly after the charges were announced, Hart tweeted: “Mind blown…Hurt…at a lost for words and simply in complete disbelief at the moment. WOW.”
Learning the news of her husband’s affair via Instagram direct message, Hart’s wife Eniko Parish says she “immediately just lost it” in the series. “I kept questioning him. If this is what you want to do, I don’t want to be a part of that.”
Ultimately she forgave him. “We’ve gone through it. We’re past it. He’s a better man now,” she says. But, “three strikes, you’re out.”