Another week, another moment where Kevin Hart’s mouth has gotten him into trouble. Both he and Lil Nas X appeared on HBO’s unscripted talk show, The Shop: Uninterrupted, and the conversation turned towards the rapper’s sexuality and his decision to come out as gay while at the top of the world.
But before Nas X could reply, Kevin chimed in with, “He said he was gay, so what?” As the rapper explains how he grew up to “hate this s**t,” Kevin interrupts again by asking “Hate what?”
As Nas X says “Homosexuality. Gay people,” Kevin responds with “Why?”
Hoo boy. You really Kevin Hart-ed it there, champ.
With the patience of a saint, Nas X explains the situation as clear cut as possible so even someone like Kevin Hart could “get it.”
“Come on now. If you’re really from the hood you know. You know it’s not some—it’s like, for me, the ‘cool dude with the song’ on top of everything to say this… any other time, I’m doing this for attention… if you’re doing it at the top, then you know it’s for real. And it’s showing that it doesn’t matter, I guess.”
Credit to Lil Nas X for his unfazed response because he didn’t deserve to be put in a situation where he had to defend his decision to come out. His explanation was a masterclass on gaslighting and how LGBTQI people deal with this sort of problem all the time.
You’d think Kevin would’ve learned something about how homophobia after his Oscar host fiasco but that’s giving him way too much credit. More than that, this exchange is a snapshot of a big problem LGBTQI people face when it comes to revealing their sexuality.
While Kevin’s response to Lil Nas X’s explanation wasn’t homophobic per se, it was a form dismissive gaslighting of the problem. Instead of tackling the issue head on, he tried to reframe the conversation as unimportant and non-existent, thus wiping his hands of all fault and normalising the idea that this issue was always accepted.
It’s a dangerous rhetoric that people like Kevin employ as a way to justify their own ignorance on something.
And on a final note, screw those athletes and celebrities who put Lil Nas X on the spot. Not only did they learn nothing about gaslighting or the LGBTQI community after the conversation but the subsequent flex to praising Kevin for picking himself up after his failures is just gross.
The way forward from an LGBTQI problem like this is to listen, empathise and understand. But as this whole Kevin Hart/Lil Nas X shows, it’s hard for that to happen when the guy you’re explaining yourself is not only refusing to learn from their past mistakes on the issue but they’re actively interrupting you all the damn time.