Kevin Hart says comedians need to think before they joke, especially now, when all it takes is one bad one to go viral for all the wrong reasons.
In a preview clip of his appearance on Wednesday's episode of "The View," the standup star and actor addresses the controversies surrounding both Kathy Griffin and Bill Maher, whose N-word joke he called "stupid."
"With anything comes change and I think the times are different now and as a comedian you have to understand and respect that," Hart explained. "If you put yourself in a position to be viewed in a negative way from the public with social media being the way that it is, if it's negative, it's going to spread."
"Viral equals virus," he said. "I think you have to use better judgement. I know there's things as a comedian I can't say because of my platform. You have a huge platform and you say certain things on that platform, it''s going to be seen by so many. When you look at Kathy Griffin and Bill Maher, you're looking at comics being comics. We always take risks but sometimes they can be distasteful."
While he wouldn't go so far as to say either of then should lose their jobs -- explaining "I'm not in a place to do that" -- he added both comics need to be more aware of potential consequences.
"I won't personally speak on anybody's position in life with their job. I will say certain things can just not be tasteful," Hart said. "I think Kathy Griffin, I get that it was a joke, it wasn't received well, you apologized, you step away from it. Whatever happens after that, it happens. Bill Maher, I don't think Bill Maher is a racist, but you know the consequences of using the word, you know how many people view your show, it was stupid."
The women of "The View" were split when discussing Maher's situation earlier this week. Though Whoopi Goldberg didn't go in on the HBO host, Sunny Hostin took a more personal approach to the situation, condemning the use of the word anywhere and by anyone.
"I use my father as my beacon for so many things. He told me a story about how was with my mom in Georgia and the KKK ran them out. My uncle who was in the army had to stand in front of the home they were in with as shotgun because they threatened to kill that 'N-word that was in the house,'" she said. "My father recounted that story to me with tears in his eyes and he said 'that is an evil, ugly, nasty word and we are never going to use it in this house. You will never use it and your children should never use it' and I have never uttered the word in my 48 years of living."
"I don't think anyone should use it," she continued. "I think it's time to retire that word, it comes from such a painful time. I understand the argument that young people have reclaimed it. I think it's time for everyone to not say it."