Even Pete Buttigieg thinks Kevin Hart doth protest too much.
Hart, who is currently recovering after a car accident, was also in the headlines this week for basically forcing Lil Nas X to explain homophobia.
The comedian and the record-breaking country-rap crossover sensation recently had a conversation for HBO’s The Shop: Uninterrupted. Lil Nas X opened up about his decision to come out while “Old Town Road,” his single featuring country legend Billy Ray Cyrus, was becoming the longest-running No. 1 single in Billboard Hot 100 history.
“He came out as gay!” Hart interjected. “So what?! Who cares?”
“It’s like knowing, growing up, like, I’m growing up to hate this shit,” Lil Nas X said of his sexual orientation. “I’m not supposed to ever like this.”
[email protected] speaks the truth about his choice to come out while at the top. More of The Shop on @HBO now! pic.twitter.com/wETNaPUU5t
— UNINTERRUPTED (@uninterrupted) September 4, 2019
Hart still tried to play dumb, baiting Lil Nas X with questions like, “Be like what? Hate what?”
“Come on!” Lil Nas X responded. “If you’re really from the hood, you know!”
Gay Twitter™ was quick to criticize Hart’s clueless line of questioning, especially in light of the comic’s fraught relationship with the LGBTQ community.
Hart stepped down from hosting the 91st Academy Awards last December amid backlash surrounding his homophobic Twitter history. He repeatedly made anti-gay comments in a series of tweets between 2009 and 2011, threatening his son with violence if he caught him playing with dolls, and insulted various celebrities by calling them “gay” or “fag.”
“I sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past,” Hart eventually wrote on social media. “I am evolving and want to continue to do so.” The entertainer initially failed to issue a public apology, telling people to “stop looking for reasons to be angry.” He later apologized again on his SiriusXM radio show but said it is “not his dream” to be an LGBTQ ally.
Hart’s interaction with Lil Nas X came up Friday morning when Buttigieg sat down with Charlamagne tha God on his syndicated radio show, The Breakfast Club.
“People think he was being dismissive of Lil Nas X,” Charlamagne told the gay 2020 hopeful. “If I say I don’t care about who a man is sleeping with, why is that a problem?”
“I think it was the fact that he found it necessary to interrupt Lil Nas X and jump in and let everybody know that he doesn’t care,” Buttigieg said. “It’s almost like… I will say a lot of gay people hear that and hear something that might not be that different than what some folks hear when they hear somebody say ’I don’t see color.’”
“This is a thing,” Buttigieg explained. “As much as we might want to believe that our marriages are gonna be treated the exact same, that we just move through society like everybody else and we’re just living our lives, no, this is actually a thing. Kids are putting bullets through their heads over this.”
“I think when somebody finds it necessary to wave their arms up and down and jump up and down telling you how much this isn’t a thing for them, it makes you wonder whether they’re being honest with themselves,” he continued. “In the same way that we can’t pretend that identities don’t exist, we can’t pretend that this isn’t a thing. It’s just to make sure we have a way of going through life that it’s not the only thing.”
wow man last year i was sleeping on my sisters floor, had no money, struggling to get plays on my music, suffering from daily headaches, now i’m gay.
— nope (@LilNasX) July 28, 2019
After Buttigieg praised Lil Nas X’s “courage” to come out, suggesting he would probably prefer to talk more about his music than being gay, Charlemagne asked the politician if he would rather people not care about his sexuality.
“I’m not out to be the president of gay America,” Buttigieg replied. “I’m out to be the president of the United States of America. But it’s part of who I am. It’s part of my experience. It shapes me, I think it informs the way I come at the world. Part of it is the fact that I’m in a marriage. Not a gay marriage. Just a marriage, right? And like everybody else who is married, that’s part of how I come at the world. But also that I belong to a group that’s been impacted by hate. It does affect the way I understand the world.”
The Breakfast Club hosts then asked Buttigieg if it’s still acceptable for them to ask Lil Nas X about his sexuality.
“I think we have to talk about it,” Buttigieg said, “especially if we’re going to trip over something on the way… I think part of the good that that’s going to do in the world is the conversations it’s going to launch. So let’s have the conversations. We’re having trouble talking about things in this country.”
“Find out if somebody wants to talk about it,” he added. “I think where it’s a problem is if we define people around it.”
[email protected] has gone from viral sensation to groundbreaking musician. As a fan, I’m thrilled and inspired to see him standing in his truth as a member of the LGBTQ community. Welcome to the family! #pride https://t.co/H81iXxCII6
— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) July 3, 2019
Lil Nas X came out publicly as gay this summer on Twitter. The 20-year-old Atlanta-born artist later said he felt he was “opening doors for more people,” because being gay is “not really accepted” in the hip-hop and country communities. He recently became the first out gay man nominated for a Country Music Association Award.
“As a fan, I’m thrilled and inspired to see him standing in his truth as a member of the LGBTQ community,” Buttigieg tweeted in July after Lil Nas X came out. “Welcome to the family!”
The rapper reportedly passed on a musical collaboration with the 37-year-old South Bend mayor because he didn’t want to appear as though he was endorsing any particular presidential candidate.
Buttigieg, who opened 20 new field offices in Iowa this week, also launched a new campaign ad for television and digital.
“As a veteran, and as a mayor, I’ve seen what we can achieve when we have each other’s backs,” he says in the 30-second spot. “But in today’s divided America, we’re at each other’s throats. Our rivers and oceans are rising. Health care costs are soaring, and our kids are learning active shooter drills before they learn to read. To meet these challenges and to defeat this president, we need real solutions, not more polarization.”