- 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)
D.A.R.E. Accuses HBO’s “Euphoria” of Glorifying Drug Use
The organization believes the drama series could have “negative consequences on school-age children who today face unparalleled risks and mental health challenges.
D.A.R.E. Slams “Euphoria”
HBO’s “Euphoria” has become synonymous with its explicit depictions of teen sex, violence, and addiction. The substance abuse awareness organization D.A.R.E. condemned the series for its lurid content, arguing that it glorifies drug use.
While drugs can weasel their way into any aspect of the show at a moment’s notice, the primary storyline around addiction follows Rue, a high schooler who often resists the help she needs to recover. Zendaya won an Emmy for portraying the struggling protagonist in 2020.
D.A.R.E., also known as Drug Abuse Resistance Education, told TMZ on Wednesday that “Euphoria” is reckless in its handling of such weighted subject matter.
“Rather than further each parent’s desire to keep their children safe from the potentially horrific consequences of drug abuse and other high-risk behavior, HBO’s television drama, Euphoria, chooses to misguidedly glorify and erroneously depict high school student drug use, addiction, anonymous sex, violence, and other destructive behaviors as common and widespread in today’s world,” a representative for the group told the outlet.
“It is unfortunate that HBO, social media, television program reviewers, and paid advertising have chosen to refer to the show as ‘groundbreaking,’ rather than recognizing the potential negative consequences on school-age children who today face unparalleled risks and mental health challenges,” the representative continued.
“Euphoria” Cast and Creator Speak on Heavy Subject Matter
Ahead of the season two premiere, Zendaya warned her followers that much of the content in “Euphoria” is not suitable for all viewers.
“I know I’ve said this before, but I do want to reiterate to everyone that Euphoria is for mature audiences,” she wrote on Instagram. “This season, maybe more so than the last, is deeply emotional and deals with subject matter that can be triggering and difficult to watch. Please only watch it if you feel comfortable.”
Sam Levinson, the creator of “Euphoria,” has been open about his own experience with addiction. Now over a decade sober, Levinson struggled with substance abuse as a teenager, much like Zendaya’s Rue. He feels a personal connection to the story, and therefore, a responsibility to honestly represent the tribulations of addiction.
“The hardest thing about portraying a drug addict is — there are a lot of cautionary tales, there are a lot of after-school specials — but what I really wanted to get to the core of is the pain and the shame about what you’re doing and you’re inability to get clean despite the havoc and destruction you’re wreaking around you,” Levinson said of the show during the ATX Television Festival in 2019, per Deadline.
Levinson noted that he does have to be “mindful of” the risk of glamorizing drug use “just by the sheer nature of it being on screen.”
“We have to be authentic about it,” he explained. “If we’re pulling our punches and we’re not showing the relief that drugs can bring it starts to lose its impact. Drugs are not the solution but they can feel like it at times, and that’s what makes them so destructive.”
Drug Use on Euphoria
Still, D.A.R.E. is far from the first group to express concern over the impact “Euphoria” might have on younger viewers. Before the second season debuted earlier this month, the Parents Television and Media Council released a statement warning of the show’s “imminent threat to the health and well-being of children.”
Before each episode of “Euphoria” airs, HBO flashes a warning to alert viewers of the drug abuse, language, violence, nudity, and sex that will appear in the program. The show might be cavalier in the casual and frequent manner it depicts drug use and other dangerous behavior, but more often than not, characters await the consequences of their actions.
In the most recent episode of “Euphoria,” Rue’s addiction lands her in a visceral screaming match with her sister. The scene underscores the tragic and harsh reality of substance abuse.
While critics push back against the show for a variety of other reasons, they generally praise Rue’s arc, largely thanks to Zendaya’s gripping performance.
But D.A.R.E. argued that the show goes a bridge too far and offered to meet with HBO to hash out the issues.
“We would welcome the opportunity for our team, including members of our high school-aged Youth Advocacy Board, to meet with individuals at HBO who are involved with producing Euphoria to present our concerns directly,” D.A.R.E.’s representative told TMZ.
HBO has not publicly responded to the criticisms.
See what others are saying: (TMZ) (Vanity Fair) (Complex)
Neil Young Asks For His Music to Be Removed From Spotify Over Vaccine Misinformation
The “Harvest Moon” singer told his representatives that the streaming service “can have Rogan or Young. Not both.”
Neil Young Wants Music His Off Of Spotify
Musician Neil Young wrote an open letter to his management and record label demanding that his music be taken down from Spotify over concerns about vaccine misinformation.
The “Heart of Gold” singer initially posted the letter on his website, but it has since been removed. According to Rolling Stone, which reported on the document before it was taken down, Young specifically took issue with podcast host Joe Rogan.
“I want you to let Spotify know immediately TODAY that I want all my music off their platform,” he wrote. “They can have Rogan or Young. Not both.”
“The Joe Rogan Experience” is exclusive to Spotify and was the most popular podcast on the platform in 2021. Rogan has regularly received criticism for spreading COVID-19 misinformation that contradicts public health recommendations, specifically when it comes to COVID-19 vaccines.
Rogan previously said that young people should not worry about getting vaccinated against the coronavirus. He has also regularly cited faulty studies questioning their efficacy and interviewed controversial medical personalities who are known for promoting conspiracy theories about the vaccine.
Young said he is afraid of the ramifications of these kinds of remarks.
“I am doing this because Spotify is spreading fake information about vaccines – potentially causing death to those who believe the disinformation being spread by them,” the singer wrote. “Please act on this immediately today and keep me informed of the time schedule.”
Concerns About Joe Rogan’s Vaccine Comments
Young’s manager, Frank Gironda, confrimed the authenticity of the letter to The Daily Beast.
“It’s something that’s really important to Neil,” Gironda said. “He’s very upset about this disinformation. We’re trying to figure this out right now.”
Young is far from the first person to express frustrations over the anti-vax views on the audio streaming service platforms. Earlier this month, a group of doctors and other medical professionals wrote a letter to Spotify urging the company to implement a policy to fight disinformation.
“We are calling on Spotify to take action against the mass-misinformation events which continue to occur on its platform,” the letter said. “With an estimated 11 million listeners per episode, [The Joe Rogan Experience] is the world’s largest podcast and has tremendous influence. Though Spotify has a responsibility to mitigate the spread of misinformation on its platform, the company presently has no misinformation policy.”
“This is not only a scientific or medical concern; it is a sociological issue of devastating proportions and Spotify is responsible for allowing this activity to thrive on its platform,” the expert cautioned.
Spotify has not made a public statement regarding Young’s letter.
See what others are saying: (Rolling Stone) (The Daily Beast) (The Verge)
Ana de Armas Fans Sue Universal For Removing Actress From “Yesterday” Film
The fans argue that because there were no scenes with de Armas as promised in the trailer, “consumers were not provided with any value for their rental or purchase.”
Ana de Armas Scenes Cut From “Yesterday”
Two fans of Ana de Armas are suing Universal Pictures for including the actress in a trailer for the 2019 film “Yesterday” even though she does not appear in the final cut of the picture.
In a class-action lawsuit filed in California, Conor Woulfe and Peter Michael Rosza said they each spent $3.99 to watch the film after viewing the accompanying trailer on Amazon. They argue the studio’s “advertising and promotion of the movie Yesterday is false, misleading, and deceptive.”
The Danny Boyle-directed comedy follows a man, played by Himesh Patel, who wakes up in a world where no one knows who The Beatles are but him, so he starts playing their music and claiming it as his own. De Armas appears briefly in the trailer as a character competing with the primary love interest, played by Lily James. Writer Richard Curtis said they had to cut de Armas’ part to strengthen the character arcs.
“That was a very traumatic cut, because she was brilliant in it,” Curtis previously told Cinema Blend. “I mean really radiant. And [that] turned out to be the problem…I think the audience did not like the fact that his eyes even strayed. Because then some people would go, ‘Oh, he really doesn’t deserve her. He really doesn’t deserve Lily.’ You know, it’s one of those things where it’s some of our favorite scenes from the film, but we had to cut them for the sake of the whole.”
For Woulfe and Rosza, the choice to cut de Armas is a dealbreaker. They are seeking $5 million on behalf of all impacted consumers.
Fans File Lawsuit Against Universal
“Because consumers were promised a movie with Ana De Armas by the trailer for Yesterday, but did not receive a movie with any appearance of Ana De Armas at all, such consumers were not provided with any value for their rental or purchase,” the lawsuit states.
Patel and James each had credits of their own prior to the release of “Yesterday.” Still, the fans believe that Universal instead used the star power of De Armas, who had recently appeared in “Blade Runner 2049,” to “entice viewership.”
“Unable to rely on fame of the actors playing Jack Malik or Ellie to maximize ticket and movie sales and rentals, Defendant consequently used Ms. De Armas’s fame, radiance and brilliance to promote the film,” the suit continued.
Just a few months after the release of “Yesterday,” de Armas would go on to receive critical acclaim for her role in “Knives Out.” She has since appeared in the latest James Bond film, “No Time to Die.”
Now a much bigger name than in spring of 2019, the lawsuit claims de Armas still appears in trailers on services like Amazon and Google.
“Despite knowing that Ms. De Armas was not in the released version of the movie Yesterday, Defendant has consistently promoted Ms. De Armas as a character starring in the film, by including her scenes in Yesterday’s movie trailers,” the suit states. “Indeed, Defendant continues to promote Ms. De Armas as appearing in the film more than two years after its initial release, in advertisements for movie sales and rentals.”
Universal has not released a statement in response to the lawsuit.