Kevin Hart is at the center of a controversy stemming from comments he made on the latest episode of HBO’s The Shop: Uninterrupted. During a conversation with Lil Nas X, marketing executive Paul Rivera asks Nas, “With all that early success you felt it was important to make an announcement.”
“He said he was gay. So what?” Hart interrupts.
Lil Nas X came out via Twitter on World Pride Day this year. After the commotion died down on The Shop, Nas detailed why he made that decision while “Old Town Road” was at the peak of its popularity. “It’s not that, like, it’s like being forced,” Lil Nas said. “It’s knowing growing up, I’m growing up to hate this shit.” The conversation turned tense again when Hart asked what Lil Nas specifically he grew up to hate.
“Homosexuality, gay people,” Nas countered. “Come on, now. If you really from the hood, you know. For me, the cool dude with the song on the 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. It’s showing it doesn’t really matter I guess.”
Multiple people found Hart’s line of questioning insulting. The comedian infamously stepped down as Oscars host in December, after his past homophobic tweets resurfaced. Later in the episode, Hart tries to smooth over his early comments to Lil Nas by sharing that he has nothing to explain to the world. “What I want to say to Lil Nas X in no way shape or form should you ever have to defend, ‘but guys this is what I am,'” Hart explained. “That’s not it. ‘It’s guys this is what I’m going to do. My reason for doing this is because I know I do this well.’ When you have a voice and you simply say this there is no back and forth about what this is.”
HBO and Uninterrupted declined to comment.
— UNINTERRUPTED (@uninterrupted) September 4, 2019