Lil Nas X is a breakout star with his hit “Old Town Road.” He won two MTV VMAs and the song remained No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 list for nineteen weeks. Lil Nas X is also the first and only artist to come out as gay while having a number-one record. During an appearance on HBO’s The Shop: Uninterrupted, Lil Nas X was praised for the way he handled Kevin Hart questioning his decision to come out as gay.
The panel asked Lil Nas X to explain why he came out as gay
The Shop: Uninterrupted features rotating guests of famous entertainers, entrepreneurs, and athletes. In the most recent episode, Lil Nas X, Kevin Hart, Rob Gronkowski, Kevin Love, C.J. McCollum, and Charlamagne tha God appeared. After discussing Lil Nas X’s musical hit, Paul Rivera, a co-creator of the series, brought up Lil Nas X’s announcement that he was gay.
“He said he was gay! So what?” Hart exclaimed.
“It’s not about who cares. That’s actually my question,” Rivera said. “Why did he feel it was necessary to come out and say that?”
Lil Nas X began to explain his reasoning. “It’s not that it’s, like, being forced. It’s just that knowing, like growing up, I’m growing up to hate this sh**.”
Before he could finish his explanation, Hart interrupted him. “Hate what?”
“Homosexuality, gay people. Come on now, if you’re really from the hood, you know. 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,” Lil Nas X explained. “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.”
The exchange between Lil Nax X and Kevin Hart went viral on Twitter
The clip of the exchange received a lot of attention on social media. Some Twitter users felt the conversation became more about Hart and did not like that Lil Nax X was put in the position where he had to explain homophobia to the other men. Others referenced Hart’s past homophobic tweets and accused the comedian of gaslighting.
“The comedian, who once joked he would become violent with his own son should he find him playing with dolls, feigned ignorance as to why @LilNasX weighed coming out so seriously,” wrote Out Magazine in a tweet.
“The emotional and intellectual labor that lil nas x had to expend by explaining, not only the effects, but the existence of homophobia to men older than him is more than disheartening. Remember, gaslighting is violence,” a Twitter user wrote.
“Kevin Hart’s reaction to Lil Nas X reminds me of what I see from the men in my own family and it’s disturbing. And when you try to call them on it they shut down and try to gaslight you,” wrote another.
Kevin Hart was accused of homophobia in the past
This is not the first time Hart was accused of homophobia. Between 2009 and 2011, Hart released a series of homophobic tweets. After Hart accepted a job hosting the 2019 Academy Awards, the tweets resurfaced. At first, Hart refused to apologize. This led to more anger from the LGBTQ community until Hart stepped down from the hosting job and issued a formal apology.
After the exchange, Hart offered supportive words to Lil Nax X. The comedian reassured Lil Nas X that he should not feel pressured to defend himself. Even with that, some viewers questioned Hart’s sincerity because of his past statements. Others noticed the way Lil Nas X seemed to be the only man in the room comfortable addressing LGBTQ topics.
“proof that 20 year old lil nas x has more maturity than these 35+ year old men,” wrote a Twitter user.