Social media outraged after Kevin Hart claims ignorance about why Lil Nas X struggled coming out, considering Hart's own past with homophobic comments.
Both were guests on this week's episode of "The Shop," a candid barbershop-set chat show on HBO that often speaks from, to and about the black community.
In an "Uninterrupted" clip shared to the show's YouTube page on Wednesday, creator and moderator Paul Rivera asked the "Old Town Road" rapper why he felt it was important that he come out amidst the monumental success of his debut single, which would go on to set the Billboard record for longest reign at number one.
But before Lil Nas X could even respond, Hart jumped in and said, "He said he was gay, so what?" Others in the room chimed in with similar sentiments, including, "Who cares?" But Rivera said that was the point of his question.
Perhaps over-correcting after his own past with homophobic jokes and comments led to him stepping away as Oscars host, Hart was nevertheless (in the eyes of many on social media) stepping all over the young rapper's chance to speak his own story.
But Lil Nas X maintained his composure, and waited patiently for Rivera to silence the room and once again attempt to give him the floor. "It's not that it's like being forced," Nas X explained. "It's just knowing, like, growing up, I'm growing up to hate this shit. I'm not supposed--"
"Hate what?" Hart interjected at this point, but did he really not know? Or was he again trying to appear so woke that he was beyond even understanding homophobia? This was the breaking point for many on social media, as it's been pretty well documented that homosexuality is often not accepted in the black community.
Not to mention that Hart himself fed into that homophobia with his own comedy from a decade ago, for which he says he's apologized and grown from. But that doesn't mean it didn't happen and that this wasn't the environment Lil Nas X found himself in. And for Hart to suggest he has no idea about any of that is just too much for many to accept.
In seeming shock to Hart's question, Nas X replied, "Homosexuality. Gay people." He then added, "Come on now. If you really from the hood, you know." Because Hart absolutely should know.
Then, getting back to his original thought and the reason behind why he chose to come out as gay when he did, the rapper said, "For me, the cool dude with the song on top of everything, to say this-- Any other time, I'm doing this for attention, in my eyes. But if you're doing this while you're at the top, you know it's for real and it's showing it doesn't really matter, I guess."
Twitter immediately lit up after the brief exchange went viral, with people both applauding Lil Nas X's poise and grace in answering the question and dealing with Hart's outbursts. At the same time, they were appalled at Hart's behavior and not a one of them believed for a second that he really didn't know what the rapper was referring to when he said he was raised to "hate this shit."
You can see some of the most passionate reactions below:
I'm so mad that Kevin Hart tried interrupting Nas like he had any right to speak about homophobia after the shit he pulled. Nas is braver and more talented than anyone else in the room and i will continue to stan him forever thank u pic.twitter.com/VJcMDDqseB— CJ Hardison 📻🏳️🌈 (@pipisboyxtreme) September 5, 2019
Kevin Hart acting like he doesn’t know why Lil Nas X would be scared to come out is like someone who stole the thing you lost helping you look for it. https://t.co/ZmfRNMktel— Phillip Henry (@MajorPhilebrity) September 4, 2019
kevin hart when lil nas x told him about homophobia: pic.twitter.com/IDnNCzzM4h— jessi (@uravitey) September 4, 2019
Kevin Hart is more homophobic when he’s trying so hard not to show that he is, in fact, homophobic. The same man questioning Lil Nas when he said they were brought up to hate gay people is the same man who said his biggest fear in life is his son being gay 🤷🏻♀️ https://t.co/7An6z0Bj2I— Aishling (@ASAPashy) September 5, 2019
lil nas x showed admirable resolve there — that he shouldn’t have had to, it should be said — but what i really liked was how he took the steam out of kevin hart with that “if you were really from the hood, you would know.”— Joel D. Anderson (@byjoelanderson) September 4, 2019
LMAOOOOOOOO at Kevin Hart acting confused and fixing his dumb ass mouth to ask Lil Nas X why he would have homophobic thoughts as a kid.— Amir Talai (@AmirTalai) September 4, 2019
Uhhhhh, I dont know, maybe cuz SOME people make jokes about beating up their gay children?? FOH#TheShopHBO
ugh the utter violence and gaslighting in that video. am so mad at Kevin Hart tbh that was uncalled for. and you are right they are intent on stroking their egos and power tripping over Lil Nas. Zero empathy.— Tuggy (@Tuggy11) September 5, 2019
Kevin Hart’s blatant gaslighting When lil Nas X said he was scared to come out is beyond ignorant! Fam, didn’t kevin say that he would beat his child if they were to come out gay? and now he the audacity to question WHY lil Nas X would be apprehensive? #LilNasX #kevinhart pic.twitter.com/eDb0WaRV3Y— SLAYSARAH 💅🏿 (@SlaySlaysarah) September 4, 2019
Kevin Hart's rage and bitterness about anything to do with gay people is so jarring.— Jenée (@jdesmondharris) September 4, 2019
Lil Nas X seems so stable and healthy and Kevin seems so ... not okay. https://t.co/ag7aDo1zg0
the fact that kevin hart tried to act like he doesn’t know about the internalized homophobia in the black community is ridiculous smh this is exactly why it was so powerful for lil nas x to come out when he did— tyler cole (popstar) (@tyIercoIe) September 4, 2019
You know, it’s great that Lil Nas X has enough brilliance and strength and self-confidence to hold his own, but that exchange should never have taken place, particularly from someone like Kevin Hart who should quite literally know better by now.— Charlotte Clymer🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) September 4, 2019
Kevin Hart really asked 'hate what?' when he knows literally everyone in the early 2000's, When lil nas x was growing up, said homophobic shit like it was nothing, and even he was guilty of it. https://t.co/9P5ITGfwsX— Marcy (@AdahTheCat) September 5, 2019
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