Lil Nas X is getting praise for how he handled a conversation about homosexuality with comedian Kevin Hart.
Before a weekend car accident that resulted in injuries requiring back surgery from which he is currently recovering, Hart filmed an episode of HBO’s conversation series The Shop, and among the other guests – which includes Rob Gronkowski, Maverick Carter, Kevin Love, CJ McCollum, and Charlamagne tha God – was Lil Nas X, who opened up about his decision to publicly come out as gay earlier this year.
In a clip released Wednesday from the show’s latest episode, the Old Town Road rapper gets candid about publicly announcing his sexuality during Pride Month and why it was something he felt compelled to do.
McCollum asks Lil Nas why he chose to open up about his sexuality when he did. And before the rapper could respond, Hart, who stepped down from hosting the Oscars in 2018 after homophobic tweets he’d made years earlier resurfaced, interjected: “He said he was gay. So what?”
That’s when Lil Nas started to speak up.
— UNINTERRUPTED (@uninterrupted) September 4, 2019
“It’s not like I was being forced. It’s just like knowing growing up, I’m growing up to hate this shit. I’m not supposed –” he said before Hart interrupted him.
“Hate what? Why? Why are you growing up to hate?” Hart asked.
“Homosexuality, gay people,” Lil Nas said. “Come on now, if you’re really from the hood you know.”
The Georgia native continued to explain how declaring his sexuality at the height of his career made sense to him. “If for me, the ‘cool dude with the song on top of everything,’ to say this at 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.”
Following the release of the clip on Twitter, some have accused Hart of gaslighting Lil Nas, a tactic used to make a person question reality.
Kevin Hart pretending that homosexuality isn’t hated in the black community as if he didn’t just come under fire for tweeting that he would bash his sons head with a dollhouse if he found out that he was gay. I have to laugh
— #BeyDay (@taddymason_) September 4, 2019
Lmao kevin hart tryna act like he not homophobic pic.twitter.com/nRYY3feh2z
— 🚀Corey🚀 (@Coreycrazy22) September 4, 2019
can kevin hart shut this leprechaun a$$ up for once damn
— miss americana || fan account (@motivatefenty) 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.
Uhhhhh, I dont know, maybe cuz SOME people make jokes about beating up their gay children?? FOH
— Amir Talai (@AmirTalai) September 4, 2019
I don't like the language used here "why you feel it was necessary" it was is he's implying that Lil Nas could had his success and still be closeted (or not out publicly). And poor Nas its like he don't have the tools to communicate his point…
— Pookie (@Cock_Noir_) September 4, 2019
The question why is it necessary. You know why because let’s be real in the our community it’s look down upon. And shamed for being anything but what is considered normal. It was necessary for him to tell his truth and live in it proudly and not fake for the world .
— Nicki_Nicki_Nicki (@All_NickiMinaj) September 4, 2019
"Why were you scared to come out?!" asks the man who said he'd literally beat the gay out of his son if he ever came out as gay.
— Kendally Brown (@kendallybrown) September 4, 2019
Earlier this year, Hart stepped down as host of the Oscars after years-old tweets where he used homophobic and transphobic language recirculated. Hart initially declined to apologize, saying he was “not going to continue to go back and tap into the days of old when I’ve moved on and I’m in a completely different space in my life.”
He then announced he would be stepping down from hosting the Oscars, and wrote: “I sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past. I’m sorry that I hurt people… I am evolving and want to continue to do so. My goal is to bring people together not tear us apart.”