Kevin Hart defends himself: ‘Knowing your self worth is extremely important’


As we discussed yesterday, Kevin Hart is the one of the (many) people being discussed in the ongoing Sony Hack Debacle. Thankfully, we aren’t reading any of Hart’s emails, but Gawker did get their hands on emails from mid-level executives about Hart. Hart has worked with Sony on several films, including Think Like a Man (and the sequel) and others. The email chain about Hart was specifically about his manager’s request that Hart get some kind of extra pay or bonus for promoting his films on his social media. The executives thought this would be a crappy idea and a terrible precedent to set for other actors. One exec wrote: “I’m not saying he’s a whore, but he’s a whore.” So Kevin defended himself on Instagram:

#KnowYourselfWorth #HustleHart #MogulMindset

Zdjęcie zamieszczone przez użytkownika kevinhart4real (@kevinhart4real)

In case you can’t read that, it says:

“Knowing your self worth is extremely important people. I worked very hard to get where I am today. I look at myself as a brand and because of that I will never allow myself to be taking advantage of. I OWN MY BRAND…I MAKE SMART DECISIONS FOR MY BRAND….I PROTECT MY BRAND….which is why I’m able to brush ignorance off of my shoulder and continue to move forward. I refuse to be broken people…with that being said its now time for me to get back to building this empire that I’ve always dreamed of!!!!”

It’s true. Kevin Hart has a reputation as one of the hardest working men in showbiz. When he’s not making movies (movies that end up making the studio a lot of money), he’s doing stand up and he’s on the road. He’s always working, always hustling. And here’s the thing – despite the “whore” shade the Sony execs threw at him, they’ll probably find a way to pay him more the next time around, you know? They respect his hustle. Because he’s a man. Imagine if a woman asked for more money to support a project on social media. Imagine the names she would have been called.

Speaking of sexism… the Sony Hack has also revealed that Sony’s upper management is almost completely dominated by middle-aged white men. One of the highest ranking women has literally the same title as a dude and the woman makes $1 million LESS than him.


Photos courtesy of WENN.

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45 Responses to “Kevin Hart defends himself: ‘Knowing your self worth is extremely important’”

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  1. Kiddo says:

    I don’t think Kevin needed to respond to the stupid emails. It made them look bad, not him. They sounded like cheap petty assholes.

  2. Liz says:

    If there is such huge wage gap between male and female staff surely there will be lawsuits now the details have been leaked?

    • Brittney B says:

      I seriously hope so.

      This is definitely the first and only time I’ve thought a movie studio executive deserved to make *more* money… but maybe her male counterpart should just be making $1 million less.

    • Kitten says:

      But we don’t need feminism anymore!!! Everything is equal now!!!


  3. Rachel says:

    You know what? I have no problem with him asking more money to promote his movie on his personal twitter account. When actors sign onto a movie, their contracts are negotiated to the last minute detail. I see this as Sony’s oversight to amend their contracts to take into account changing advertising trends, i.e. twitter and other online social media sites. Additionally, Kevin Hart’s twitter is a business asset he has personally built. He has the right to ask Sony to pay him to use the business asset he’s invested himself in to promote their movie.

    • Brandii says:

      Exactly. And you can bet your bottom dollar that if Sony found a new way to make more money off of Kevin Hart that wasnt covered in the contract, they would NOT share that money with him.

      Also, an interesting comment from one of the execs is that he is afraid that appeasing Kevin would mean that Channing Tatum, who apparently shares representation with Kevin Hart, would also start charging for social media promotions.

    • Hawkeye says:

      I completely agree.

    • Santia says:

      But it’s his movie! If it’s successful, he gets to demand a bigger paycheck. It’s asinine for him to demand money to market himself.

      • Angela says:

        Why is it asinine? Kevin Hart is a busy man with a lot of projects besides this film. The studio is primarily responsible for making and marketing the movie, not Hart. If the movie is a success, the studio gets the profits, not Hart. Kevin Hart is a major part of this film, but it’s a film by Sony, not a film by Kevin Hart. Why should he take time away from his other projects to craft and launch a social media campaign? If they expected that from the beginning, they should have built it into his contract so he could budget his time to make that effort. It’s not stupid to ask for extra pay for extra work not included in the original contract.

    • Angela says:

      Yup. They are asking him to work more and create more content. If they always had that expectation, they should have built it into the contract.

    • Babalon says:

      Bingo and +1000.

      Thinking yourself entitled to someone elses resources doesn’t mean that you are. Cheers to him for looking after his own bottom-line.

    • lrm says:

      No, in the hacks, it is stated that they don’t want to ‘start a precedent’ with other social media savvy actors like Channing [tatum], so that’s why they don’t want to pay him. LMAO-these huge mega rich companies don’t have ‘oversights’; it’s strategic and calculated to avoid paying. They’ll avoid for as long as they can get away with, knowing that eventually actors will start asking. But as soon as word gets out that one actor got it, they all will. No, they’d rather say no for as long as they can get away with it….and their hope is that they lock all future actors into including social media promo for the same compensation rate, through contracts. [before the actors are able to mobilize and change that model].

    • lrm says:

      I think Hart is using this ‘justifying his request’ as PR tool. Smart. Might as well use the mention of him in the hacks to his advantage. He’s also letting the industry know that he knows the game and letting would be advertisers know that he knows the game and is actively managing his image and brand. Very savvy.

  4. aims says:

    The thing that pisses me off is that a women is making significantly less money then her co workers. Other than that, i have no problems.

  5. Jenns says:

    If he is a “whore” then so is every other major actor who does a commercial in Japan for 2 million dollars. He has nothing to defend.

  6. stationeryfront says:

    “Defends himself”? Sure he responded, dont think its accurate to say that he defended himself. He didnt need to defend himself anyway. As Kiddo said, he didnt even need to respond.

    • noway says:

      I think he responded because he doesn’t want to look petty and greedy, but I think most people understand he is setting clear parameters of work for himself. He is smart enough to know when the numbers get thrown around some of his fan base may go you make that much money and you can’t tweet a bit. I know I am kind of flabbergasted that they paid Seth Rogan 8 million dollars for acting in the Interview. Wow that is a lot of money, and it looks stupid. Wonder if all the publicity will help it or not.

      • Seán says:

        $8 million is a reasonable wage for Rogen, at least by Hollywood standards. He might not be a Hollywood A-lister but he’s a successful actor, writer, director and producer. Even though he’s not everyone’s cup-of-tea and many of his movies are juvenile/silly, he’s had more hits critically than he’s had misses. His movies also do pretty good box office business.

      • noway says:

        I know you are right by Hollywood standards 8 million is a reasonable wage for Rogan being a white male. If he was an equivalent marketable woman or someone of color it would be less and I think this hacking proved that point that that I suspected dramatically.

        Still it is a lot of money, and it is a pretty good increase on actors salaries over the years, when most salaries have stayed stagnant. To top it off this movie seems like drivel. I know the media industry well, and I am having a hard time fathoming what would make someone bankroll this movie that much 8 mill for Rogan and 6 mill for Franco, and it goes on. We will see how it does, the publicity with the hacking probably helped the movie so it may have had one positive effect.

  7. funcakes says:

    After all the dumb ass comments made in those emails I’m certain there are a lot of stars who prices just sky rocketed to sooth their fragile egos. If I was Kevin my prices would now double.

  8. noway says:

    Here’s the thing, when you employ someone and they seem to nickel and dime you in the job, like not tweeting a movie for you, as the employer you might get a bit upset. Doesn’t mean Kevin doesn’t have a right to do that, especially if they were not smart enough to put in a scope of work that spelled out what he would and wouldn’t do, and they obviously were more than inarticulate and unprofessional in their language. Still of all the things that were leaked this is one of the most understandable to me. I get the sentiment, although hope I wouldn’t be so colorful, and I understand his point of view too and he is setting clear boundaries for how he works. Good for him. I understand both sides sometimes you just want someone you hire to do just a bit extra for you and as the employee you want to set boundaries so your time isn’t abused.

    • Illyra says:

      Great post.

    • Santia says:

      I posted further up-thread (and not so articulately, I’m afraid) before I read this. That’s the way I see it, as well. He already has a following that he can easily market to, and it benefits HIM in the long run, as he gets to demand more money next time if the movie is successful. It seems petty to demand to be paid for promoting yourself on your own twitter.

      • noway says:

        I don’t know his personal situation, but my guess he has found out that once he does a little they come after him for a lot and it becomes a time suck. He may just be a stickler for his scope of work. Next time they should just put it in his contract and how much time he needs to spend. It really is on them, and they most likely know it but are just a bit pissed. Although after everything this is the least of their worries.

    • Angela says:

      If all they’re asking him to do is hit “RT” or “Share” on his fan pages, then sure, I can understand why they’d be upset. But if they’re asking him to use his wit and savvy to promote the film, then that’s additional work that should be additionally compensated.

      • lrm says:

        Exactly. Sony doesn’t want to set a precedent [read the hack emails and this is stated by in one of the emails]. Yet, this guy’s contract doesn’t stipulate that he’d have to spend time on social media. It’s an additional job, aside from interviews and premiers. You can bet other actors and big names wouldn’t do this for free, or even at all. Is angelina, meryl, etc etc promoting on twitter? Also, the hack states specifically ‘social media savvy actors’ that they don’t want to set a precedent of having to pay more to. So Sony wants social media savvy actors to do extra work for free. [i thinkt hey mentioned channing tatum as an example]. This ihas nothing to do with whether or not it’s good brand business for kevin hart. He’s not contractually obligated to do social media, then he should get more money. That’s smart for his brand-not setting himself up to be undervalued in the long run.

    • db says:

      Good points. On the other hand, the $ is not coming out of their pockets. It’s debatable to me who is nickel and diming who here. Hart could have just ignored the request since it seems tweeting wasn’t within the scope of his contract. Instead his people negotiated it, as they should, that’s their job.

  9. Peppa says:

    I love Kevin Hart. I also think these emails show that the actors aren’t as powerful as we may think. Yes, actors are who we all gossip about, who some idolize and adore, the ones we as the public sometimes drool over, and the ones who the paparazzi follow and who get dolled up and photographed on the red carpet. But, most of those actors don’t hold the real power. Sure a handful of A-listers can make demands, but even an A-lister like Angelina is seen as a fly in the ointment. I think that Rudin could most likely be considered a misogynist, but I also think he would tear apart a male star who he thought was getting in his way of doing what he wanted. Kevin’s demands to them are an inconvenience. These people want the actors to act and look pretty, while they make all the big decisions. That is the nature of Hollywood, and these emails pull back the curtain a bit. It is not at all surprising that the studio execs are mostly middle aged white men. Hollywood has a diversity problem that starts from the very top.

  10. Jess says:

    Yea, hearing any movie executive complaining about someone else asking for more money is beyond hypocritical. The studios certainly aren’t giving anything away for free. Good for Kevin. Stand strong! As for the sexism, it’s not surprising but sure is disheartening.

  11. Brionne says:

    Lol @ ” Sony hack revealed that almost all of Sony execs are middle-aged white men” To whom exactly was this a revelation? Women and minority celebs have been talking about being excluded from positions of power and authority to get the kinds of projects they’d like to sink their teeth into greenlighted/greenlit for ever. Women of a certain age, talented minorities like Viola Davis, Lupita Ny’ongo, Angela Bassett, Latinos and Asians in general have made this complaint for a long time. This is not new info.

  12. noway says:

    One more comment is anyone else surprised how much these executives wrote this stuff on emails attached to their professional name using their business server and it looks like email address too? I could see myself saying something like this on the side to someone- hopefully not as unprofessional, if someone upset me a bit in the heat of the moment, but to actually type it, not just once but a lot. That takes a whole lot of stupid to me.

  13. db says:

    Hart doesn’t need to justify his demand, which seems like a totally mundane one to me. I’d have a hard time buying any actor above a certain level having to do any of this stuff for free.

  14. lisa says:

    Hart has nothing to defend. He is not going to set a precedent that undervalues him.

  15. Veronica says:

    Kevin Hary is entirely entitled to think he’s worth that much and then ask for it. Sony is then free to negotiate, but not flail about like obnoxious children as we see here. Ambition is what keeps you on the upward track, not settling for what they want to give you. I agree that it’s a lesson we would do better to teach our girls.

  16. St says:

    Sorry but he was asked to tweet about HIS OWN MOVIE. And he wanted more money for it? I agree with everything they said in emails about him. And then you wonder why movie tickets and budgets are getting bigger. Because they need to pay more and more money for those super rich actors.

    And you know how mane people worked for that movie. And they all were payed very little. And they worked hard. But this rich actor demands even more money to write few words on social media? IT WAS HIS OWN MOVIE, not some Pepsi or Pizza Hut.

    And in hilarious way I have to put Justin Bieber as example. I remember when his second concert movie came out. And we were all laughing at him for something and I came to his twitter. And he was all promoting his movie non-stop, posting and asking people to see it. I don’t think he was paid for every twit. I think he did it because he wanted his movie to succeed. And Kevin Hart doesn’t care. For him it’s only money, money, money.

    • Boxy Lady says:

      I think your Justin Bieber example actually makes a case *for* Kevin Hart rather than against him.

      A concert movie usually revolves around a musician’s life on the road before, during, and after performing his or her songs for the public, right? Presumably, if a concert film does well, that can translate to increased CD and concert ticket sales as well as more royalties from the songs.

      Kevin Hart and his management team built up a following on his social media accounts in order to promote his stand-up comedy. He tweets in order to publicize his comedy appearances, his comedy specials, and his comedy DVDs and CDs. In other words, he is plugging work that he is directly in charge of to his many followers. Which is exactly what Justin Bieber was doing in your example.

      It’s not like Kevin Hart wrote the movie or was in control of it in any way. He is merely one of a number of actors playing a role in it. Did Sony ask any of the other actors in the film to promote it through their personal Twitter accounts? If not, it looks like Sony was trying to take advantage of the large following that Hart had built up for his own projects and get some free advertising that was not built into his contract. (His contract specified that he was obligated to promote the Sony film through TV, print, and radio.) I personally am glad that he made it clear that he would not let a major studio take advantage of him and that he expected to be compensated accordingly for any extra duties they tried to give to him.

  17. mike says:

    I find him and his comedy repulsive and he does come off as a ‘whore’ who will only open his legs for money. Thirsty.

    And yeah, it is sexist. A woman would not even dream of asking some extra cash to promote some movie that took a chance on her. they would just dutifully do it. He feels he is entitled because he can get away with it.

    His comedy also happens to be extremely lowbrow and misogynistic.

  18. So says:

    New Sony leak says Amy Adams & JLaw got lesser pay than Jeremy Renner. My blood is boiling right now.
    O’Russell: 9%; Cooper: 9%; Bale: 9%; Renner: 9%; Lawrence: 7%; Adams: 7%.

    • Veronica says:

      Holy shit, seriously? I could see Bale because he was the main protagonist and has been in the industry longer, but how is Renner anywhere near the level of Lawrence or Adams? Unbelievable.

      • Korra says:

        I can see Bale. I can see Lawrence at 7% as well. I CANNOT see Adams at 7 and Renner at 9. Renner should have been at 1 maybe 2 and that would have been generous considering the amount of promotion and how much he was in the film. I guess I can see Cooper since he had that whole hangover crap.