Kevin Hart’s woes continue to mount. While the comedian recovers from emergency back surgery following a car crash early Sunday morning, he’s facing new criticism over comments made in the season premiere of HBO’s The Shop, which aired Tuesday night.
A clip from the show sees Hart joining in on a discussion in which fellow guest Lil Nas X is asked about his decision to publicly come out as gay in June amid the meteoric success of his hit song “Old Town Road.” Hart, who stepped down as host of this year’s Oscars following uproar over his past homophobic jokes, couldn’t resist interjecting as the rapper shared his story.
“And with all that early success, you felt it was important to make an announcement recently?” series creator Paul Rivera asks the 20-year-old musician.
“He said he was gay, so what?” Hart interrupts, while others in the room can be heard adding, “What’s the point?”
But Rivera shuts down the commentary and again presses Lil Nas X on why he felt it was “necessary” to be open about his sexuality.
“It’s not that it’s like being forced,” he responds. “It’s just, like, knowing that growing up ... like, I’m grown up to hate that s***, I’m not supposed to ... “
Hart cuts him off, asking, “hate what?”
“Homosexuality, gay people,” Lil Nas X answers, sounding increasingly frustrated.
“Why?” Hart fires back.
“Come on now,” Lil Nas X tells him. “If you really from the hood, you know. It’s not something [accepted] ... “
He goes on to explain that, by coming out at his height as a “cool dude” with a hit song, it made more impact.
“If you’re doing this while you’re at the top, you know it’s, like, for real,” he says. It’s, like, showing it doesn’t really matter, I guess.”
Now that the show has aired, Lil Nas X’s statements have been praised, with fans thanking him for using his platform to help pave the way for other LGBTQ individuals. By contrast, Hart’s dismissive reactions have sparked backlash from critics who accuse the star of not taking the matter seriously and sweeping genuine concerns about homophobia under the rug.
“I’m not gonna mince words ... f*** Kevin Hart,” read a comment. “He’s the last person to question anyone’s coming out process and timing. And say this to the young man’s face like that? That’s a no from me.”
Lil Nas X is a gift. He continues to be courageous and wise. But putting him in a situation to be gaslit by known homophobes about his choice to come out is terrible. pic.twitter.com/AAsGSlzmb0— Frederick Joseph (@FredTJoseph) September 4, 2019
"He said he was gay. So what!" Kevin Hart knows exactly what the "so what" is here and why a young black boy would closet his sexuality until he believed it was safe. Why not simply listen, give @LilNasX the space and deference to tell his own story... https://t.co/8nY9cHPftP— G O L D I E. (@goldietaylor) September 4, 2019
Oh, Kevin....No. I'd like to think he meant, "We're OK with you being gay. It's no big deal." But you're right, he knows exactly why this is an issue. Kevin, of all people....Come on! I love his comedy, but he just doesn't learn any lessons.— 🇺🇸🏳️🌈🌊Kristine (@KrisL1026) September 4, 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
The fact that Kevin Hart would get on this show and try to act like he doesn’t understand why someone wouldn’t want to come out as gay when he was a whole ass homophobe threatening violence against own son literally a decade ago... Does he think we forgot? https://t.co/5WQ9FHAMYo— Seafood By Antoinne (@yosoymichael) September 4, 2019
Despite charges that Hart was being clueless and insensitive, many fans came to his defense and argued that he was being misunderstood.
#CancelCulture doesn’t allow redemption. It doesn’t forgive. Any thing the “cancelled” says later is picked apart and taken out of context, which keeps the individual in the cancelled camp. I love lil Nas and I’m not a KH fan, but it looks like he was expressing support.— Cindy (@Steadyspirit) September 4, 2019
No - Kevin was trying to get him to say what it was. So that people could understand WHY ! Maybe the average person doesn’t know WHY! Don’t spin this “think piece” into a negative— HIM (@hisnamelou) September 4, 2019
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