Lil Nas X appeared alongside Kevin Hart on Tuesday’s episode of HBO’s The Shop: Uninterrupted. The two entertainers ended up in a controversial conversation about Lil Nas X coming out when the rapper was prompted to explain homophobia to the comedian — not just what it is, but seemingly the fact that it even exists.
As The Hollywood Reporter notes, the exchange kicked off with a question from marketing executive Paul Rivera. He asked about Lil Nas X’s decision to come out as gay during the reign of “Old Town Road”, but Hart interrupted before he could answer: “He said he was gay! So what?”
Lil Nas X responded by talking about the prejudices he had learned as a child, saying he was “growing up to hate this shit.” At this point, a number of voices interjected, including Hart, who asked, “Hate what? Hate what?”
When Lil Nas X spelled it out — “homosexuality, gay people” — Hart again asked, “Why? Why are you growing up to hate it?”
“Come on, now,” said the rapper. “If you’re really from the hood, you know.”
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He went on to explain why he chose the height of his fame to come out: “Any other time, like, 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.”
Hart’s part in the conversation has sparked some anger online. His apparent ignorance of homophobia comes off as odd since he resigned from his Oscars gig over accusations of just that. The concern stemmed from dozens of tweets Hart made using anti-gay slurs. Hart stopped publicly using such language around the year 2011, and has since expressed regret.
While he apologized for “insensitive words from my past,” Hart unfortunately isn’t in the condition to confront this new controversy. The comedian was involved in a frightening car accident over the weekend that left his back seriously injured. He underwent major surgery, and is expected to fully recover.
Watch the Uninterrupted clip in question below.