Kevin Hart Criticized After Homophobia Conversation With Lil Nas X
- A viral clip from HBO’s The Shop showed Kevin Hart appearing confused when Lil Nas X discussed homophobia and his decision to come out.
- Many were outraged when Hart asked why the singer grew up around anti-gay sentiments, accusing him of gaslighting Lil Nas X and asking an ignorant question.
- Some specifically pointed to old homophobic jokes Hart has made as part of the reason why men are fearful to come out, while others said that Hart has apologized for the jokes and should be able to have discussions without having them brought up over and over.
Clip from “The Shop” Goes Viral
Comedian Kevin Hart is being accused of gaslighting Lil Nas X in a viral clip in which the two discuss homophobia and the singer’s decision to come out.
The two appeared on HBO’s The Shop on Tuesday night, a show produced by Lebron James’ digital media company Uninterrupted. They discussed several topics like mental health, and their careers in a barbershop setting along with the show’s creator Paul Rivera, Uninterrupted CEO Maverick Carter, New England Patriot Rob Gronkowski, Cleveland Cavaliers player Kevin Love, Portland Trailblazers player CJ McCollum, and radio host Charlamagne tha God.
The viral clip in question began when Rivera turned to Lil Nas X to discuss his success and decision to come out over the summer.
“You felt it was important to make an announcement recently,” he said.
“He said he was gay,” Hart responded. “So what?”
“Who cares?” someone off-camera asks.
“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?”
“It’s not that it’s, like, being forced,” the “Old Town Road” singer explained. “It’s just that knowing, like growing up, I’m growing up to hate this shit. I’m not supposed…”
“Hate what? Hate what?” Hart asked. “Why? Why are you growing up to hate?”
“Homosexuality, gay people,” Lil Nas X said. “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. 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.”
Hart’s Past Comments
Hart has faced criticism in the past for making homophobic jokes, including one tweet in 2011 where he said if he ever saw his son playing with a dollhouse, he would hit him over the head with it and say, “stop that’s gay.”
Several of his past offensive jokes resurfaced at the end of 2018 when Hart was slated to host the Academy Awards. He initially refused to apologize for his remarks, saying he had acknowledged them in the past. The situation, however, ultimately ended with him bowing out of the role and issuing an apology.
Hart Receives Backlash
Watching the country-rapper explain to Hart why homophobia impacted his upbringing and choice to come out rubbed many the wrong way. One Twitter user compared the situation to having someone who stole something from you help to look for it.
Another brought up the joke Hart made about his son, saying that comments like these could be a part of why children experience homophobic thoughts.
Another suggested that instead of interrupting Lil Nas X, Hart should have just listened to what the artist had to say.
Others accused the comedian of gaslighting.
Users Defend Hart
Still, many came to Hart’s defense. One user shared a clip from later in the show where Hart addresses Lil Nas X again, trying to show that there was more to the story than what was seen in the viral clip.
“In no way, shape or form should you ever have to defend ‘but guys, this is what I am.’” Hart says. “That’s not it. It’s ‘guys, this is what I’m going to do.’”
Others brought up Hart’s apology and said he had changed since making those jokes.
Hart’s Recent Car Accident
Others also came to Hart’s defense from another angle. The Jumanji actor recently underwent surgery after a serious car accident that reportedly resulted in spinal fractures.
Many sent Hart well wishes online, while others joked about the injury. Some made memes implying they were laughing at the matter, while others said he deserved it for his comments.
Actor Terry Crews acknowledged these people, and told Us Weekly that he had Hart’s back.
“There were some people who weren’t so nice,” Crews said. “There were a lot of people that were happy he got into the accident. It made no sense to me, but that’s human nature. But I’m here to tell him and that’s why I wanted to say, ‘Hey, man. I’m here for you. I got your back.’”
Neither Lil Nas X or Hart have made comments about their discussion. The Washington Post said HBO directed them to Uninterrupted for a statement, but the company did not respond.
See what others are saying: (Washington Post) (Us Weekly) (A.V. Club)
Swifties Rally Outside Los Angeles Courthouse Amid Ticketmaster Lawsuit Hearing
Over 300 fans are suing Ticketmaster over the “disaster” they experienced while attempting to purchase tickets for Taylor Swift’s latest tour.
Taylor Swift fans rallied outside of a Los Angeles courthouse on Monday as the first hearing for a lawsuit they filed against Ticketmaster took place.
Swift’s fans, dubbed “Swifties,” sued the ticket giant late last year after the presale for the singer’s Eras Tour left many fans empty-handed. Swift herself called the ordeal “excruciating” after her fans were kicked out of the virtual queue, lost tickets they thought they had purchased, and experienced technical difficulties for hours on end.
Dozens of fans, including virtual attendees, spoke at Monday’s hearing, which largely centered around the status of the suit. There are over 300 plaintiffs represented in the case, though attorney Jennifer Anne Kinder, the self-proclaimed Swiftie leading the case, said she does not plan on pursuing class-action status.
Fans are seeking at least $2,500 each in damages, though as one fan told CNN: “It has nothing to do with the money.” Swifties really want to take aim at the alleged monopoly Ticketmaster and its parent company, Live Nation, hold over the entertainment and live event industries. Live Nation is currently the subject of a Department of Justice investigation over potential abuse of power.
Swifties traveled from across the country to attend the hearing and rally. Roughly a dozen stood outside the courthouse carrying signs using Swift’s lyrics to take aim at Ticketmaster. One sign featured a broken heart with “Ticketmaster” and “Live Nation” written on either side. “Are you ready for it?” the sign asked.
Others used lines like “my pennies made your crown” and “can’t shake it off.”
What’s In The Lawsuit?
Kinder’s firm made a website called “Take Down Ticketmaster” to lay out issues fans had with the Swift presale and with the company as a whole.
“We monitored the Taylor Swift sale in real time of what was happening to fans across the U.S.,” the website says. “Collectively, fans’ experiences with Ticketmaster indicated a potential pattern of fraudulent behavior and antitrust violations by the company.”
The site also encouraged music fans across genres and artists to fight back against Ticketmaster and take “back our power in the live entertainment ecosystem.”
In their lawsuit, Swifties accused Ticketmaster of “anticompetitive conduct” by imposing higher prices on the sale, resale, and presale markets. It also claims the company gave out more presale codes than demand allowed, and “intentionally and purposefully mislead ticket purchasers by allowing scalpers and bots access” to the presale.
According to Ticketmaster, the incredibly high demand, coupled with an onslaught of bot attacks, forced the platform to slow sales down. The company delayed sales in certain cities and canceled the general sale altogether before it started slowly releasing pairs of tickets to fans with presale codes who did not have tickets in their accounts.
The Eras Tour kicked off in Arizona earlier this month. Swifties are not the only fandom Ticketmaster has to worry about though, as just last week, Drake fans slapped the company with a price-gouging suit.
See what others are saying: (CNN) (The Los Angeles Times) (Rolling Stone)
Twitch Tightens Policies on Explicit Deepfakes
“The creation, promotion, or viewing of this content is not welcome on Twitch,” the company said in a blog post.
New Rules Regarding “Synthetic NCEI”
Twitch is cracking down on explicit deepfake content and will indefinitely suspend users who share or promote it after a first offense.
“The existence of this content, and its presence and distribution on various sites, is personally violating and beyond upsetting. Deepfake porn isn’t a problem on Twitch, but it’s a terrible issue that some streamers (almost exclusively women) may face on the internet at large,” Twitch said in a Tuesday blog post, explaining it wants to “help streamers protect themselves” in any case this issue arises.
Twitch referred to this content as “synthetic non-consensual exploitative images,” or “synthetic NCEI,” but many of the platform’s users have casually referred to it as deepfake porn. Synthetic NCEI involves someone taking the face of another person and editing it into a pornographic video to make it appear as though that person filmed themselves demonstrating those sexual acts. The new rise in access to this technology has concerned many, as it is easy to use it to exploit others.
While synthetic NCEI is already banned on Twitch, the company took a more actionable step against it in its Tuesday post by creating an Adult Sexual Violence and Exploitation policy. The new rule prohibits the intentional sharing, promoting, or creation of synthetic NCEI and those acts can result in an indefinite suspension on the first offense.
Twitch also updated its Adult Nudity policy to include synthetic NCEI. Even if it is only shown briefly, that content will still be taken down and result in an enforcement.
In addition to the policy changes, Twitch made available a list of resources for those who might be impacted by or wish to learn more about synthetic NCEI.
“The creation, promotion, or viewing of this content is not welcome on Twitch,” the company said closing its blog post.
Growing Concerns About Explicit Deepfakes
Twitch’s updates come as synthetic NCEI and deepfakes have become a primary topic of concern for social media platforms. Earlier this year, Twitch was home to a major deepfake controversy after a streamer known as Atrioc was caught with an open tab to a website that hosted these videos. That site specifically hosted deepfakes of female Twitch streamers, some of whom were Atrioc’s colleagues.
Many women featured on the page spoke out against these deepfakes, explaining the trauma they endured knowing their face, image, and likeness were used in a sexual manner without their consent. It’s an issue that extends far past Twitch creators. Some fear they could be used for revenge porn, and there are already several cases where the technology is used to create sexual videos of celebrities.
On Tuesday, NBC News published a report finding that Facebook and Instagram ran suggestive ads featuring deepfakes of actresses like Emma Watson and Scarlett Johansson. The ads were for a deepfake app that told users they could “replace face with anyone.”
While the ads did not show explicit pornographic content, one ad featuring Watson was clearly meant to mimic the start of an explicit video, suggesting a sexual act was about to start. The face of the “Harry Potter” actress was seen looking into the camera before bending down.
The report found that 127 ads with Watson deepfakes and 74 with Johansson deepfakes ran across Meta’s platforms on Sunday and Monday, but have since been removed. The app in question was also removed from the Apple app store after NBC News contacted the tech giant for comment.
See what others are saying: (The Verge) (Engadget) (Kotaku)
Fans Defend Pedro Pascal After Actor Refused to Read Thirst Tweets: “It’s Sexual Harassment”
Pascal has been dubbed the Internet’s “daddy,” but many think the joke has gone too far.
Pascal’s Heartthrob Status
Fans are defending actor Pedro Pascal after he refused to read thirst tweets on the red carpet, arguing that it is inappropriate and disrespectful to ask him to do so.
Pascal, the star of HBO’s “The Last of Us” and Disney+’s “The Mandalorian,” has become a major Hollywood heartthrob. He has even been widely dubbed as the Internet’s “daddy” by those posting about his handsome looks. The running joke grew last year when he did a Vanity Fair lie detector test and said he considered himself a “bigger daddy” than “Star Wars” star Oscar Isaac.
“Daddy is a state of mind, you know what I’m saying? I’m your daddy,” he quipped during the interview.
Since then, TikTokers have started posting thirst trap edits of Pascal, journalists have called him “daddy” on the red carpet, and interviewers have shown him tweets where fans call him a “cool, slutty daddy.”
Pascal has been a good sport about the public displays of lust for him, but many think the joke may have crossed a line. During last week’s red carpet premiere for season three of “The Mandalorian,” an Access Hollywood reporter went viral for asking Pascal to read thirst tweets to the camera. Pascal politely declined.
“No. Dirty! Dirty!” he told the reporter after reading through the tweets.
“For your enjoyment only,” she responded.
“Thank you very much,” Pascal said before exiting the interview.
Fans Condemn Thirst Tweet Interviews
In response, many who watched the clip condemned this treatment of Pascal, arguing it promoted constant objectification.
“I think it’s time for the internet to leave Pedro Pascal alone,” one person wrote. “It’s sexual harassment, but no one seems to care bc he’s a man + is graceful about it. It’s really gross and I would never want to be treated like that.”
“These jokes have gone way too far and he’s visibly uncomfortable,” another fan added.
Some claimed that while the Internet’s love of Pascal “started as harmless fun…the constant public objectification and sexualization must be terrible” and should stop.
“Being attractive, banking on it, selling it, and even at times enjoying some of the attention, doesn’t give everyone wholesale permission to sexualize you,” someone else argued.