On Tuesday’s episode of HBO’s “The Shop: Uninterrupted,” the “Old Town Road” rapper shared the backstory behind his decision to come out publicly over the summer. HBO and CNN are owned by the same parent company, WarnerMedia.
“The Shop” is an unscripted series that highlights the open conversations that happen in a barbershop. The episode featured celebrities Hart, Maverick Carter, Rob Gronkowski, Kevin Love, CJ McCollum, Charlamagne tha God and Paul Rivera.
In the pre-recorded episode, McCollum asks Lil Nas why he chose to open up about his sexuality when he did.
“He said he was gay,” Hart said. “So what?”
That’s when Lil Nas started to speak up.
“It’s not like I was being forced. It’s just like knowing growing up, I’m growing up to hate this s***. I’m not supposed –” he said before Hart interrupted him.
“Hate what? Why? Why are you growing up to hate?” Hart asked.
“Homosexuality, gay people,” Lil Nas said. “Come on now, if you’re really from the hood you know.”
The Georgia native continued to explain how declaring his sexuality at the height of his career made sense to him.
“If for me, the ‘cool dude with the song on top of everything,’ to say this at 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,” he said. “It’s showing it doesn’t really matter, I guess.”
Lil Nas posted a series of tweets on the last day of Pride month, where he intended to share with his followers that he identifies as gay.
That didn’t stop him from topping the music charts, especially after his viral hit with Billy Ray Cyrus that later became the longest-running No. 1 hit on Billboard’s Hot 100.
Some have accused Hart of gaslighting Lil Nas, a tactic used to make a person question reality. Hart is in the hospital recovering from a car accident this weekend and has not responded to the accusations.
A series of homophobic tweets Hart made between 2009 and 2011 drew public scrutiny late last year. Hart initially declined to apologize, saying he was “not going to continue to go back and tap into the days of old when I’ve moved on and I’m in a completely different space in my life.”
He then announced he would be stepping down from hosting the Oscars, and wrote: “I sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past. I’m sorry that I hurt people… I am evolving and want to continue to do so. My goal is to bring people together not tear us apart.”
Earlier this year, Hart shared his support for Jussie Smollett after the “Empire” star alleged a hate crime had been committed against him. Police in February claimed Smollett staged it.
At the time of the alleged attack, Hart wrote on social media, “Why are we going backwards….this is disgusting,” and faced some skepticism because of his past remarks.
“I stand with a man in his time of hurt and need by giving him heart felt support and u take the time to harp on my 10yr past that I have apologized about and moved on from by being a better person,” Hart tweeted. “Do you want change? If so I am an example of what u want people to do…CHANGE!”