Kevin Hart won't joke about President Trump to avoid 'alienating' audiences

While Kevin Hart has plenty of material lampooning personal topics such as his tough upbringing in Philadelphia and high-profile divorce from Torrei Hart in 2011, there is one topic the comedian won’t discuss: Politics.

Speaking in a recent interview with Variety, the Jumanji star said that he avoids jokes about President Trump in his stand-up shows, despite many comedians focusing in on those topics in their own acts. As Hart explained, including political material in his act could be “alienating” for some of his audience.

“When you jump in to that political realm, you’re alienating some of your audience,” Hart said. “The world today, it’s really not a laughing matter. It’s serious. I don’t want to draw attention to things I don’t have nice things to say about.”

The What Now? star issued a similar statement in October, telling reporter Nicholas Ballasy that “I can’t speak about a guy I have nothing good to say about.” Hart also added that many of the “problems in our world today” aren’t “being addressed properly,” leading him to “not speak on it at all.” Following President Trump’s win in November, Hart told followers on social media that “the negative can’t be changed.”

Prior to those statements, Hart in 2015 congratulated then-candidate Trump on his presidential run, saying he applauded Trump for “following a dream.” Trump later thanked Hart on Twitter for his statement.

Hart’s refusal to talk politics or Trump in his act stands in stark contrast to fellow comedian Kathy Griffin, who is under fire for a controversial photo depicting her holding the severed head of President Trump. Following the release of the photo, CNN cut ties with Griffin, and the comedian claims that she has been contacted by the Secret Service.

“I’m a comic,” Griffin said in an apology regarding the image, which she has since removed from her social media. “I cross the line. I move the line, then I cross it. I went way too far. The image is too disturbing. I understand how it offends people. It wasn’t funny. I get it.”

Hart will appear in the locally shot Untouchable alongside Bryan Cranston in 2018, as well as a Jumanji reboot in December. According to Forbes, Hart is the highest-paid stand-up comedian in the business, earning an estimated $87.5 million between June 2015 and June 2016.

Hart will be in town on Wednesday to promote his book, I Can’t Make This Up: Life Lessons, at the Free Library. Philadelphia will celebrate its first “Kevin Hart Day” on July 6 this year.