This Is Why People Are Mad At Omari Hardwick For Kissing Beyoncé At The NAACP Awards

    “We women so often get touched, kissed, groped & poked in instances exactly like this. WE DON’T LIKE IT.”

    Despite usually being somewhat private and elusive, Beyoncé has shown face at a handful of award shows over the past month, for the first time since the Grammys in 2018. Last week, she attended the GLAAD Awards, where she and husband Jay-Z were honoured for their “LGBTQ allyship” and helping to “[accelerate] LGBTQ acceptance”.

    Then, over the weekend, Beyoncé popped up at the NAACP Image Awards, again alongside Jay. This time, she picked up the gong for Entertainer of the Year, beating the likes of Chadwick Boseman and Regina King.

    Paras Griffin / Getty Images

    However, the appearance wasn’t without its controversy. At the beginning of the night, videos emerged on Twitter of Beyoncé and Jay-Z arriving to take their seats. They were met with a round of applause as soon as they entered the room, with many people approaching the couple to greet them.

    One of those people was Power actor Omari Hardwick. Videos show him first shaking hands with Jay-Z before he leans in to kiss Beyoncé’s cheek. However, as he pulls away, he goes for another, which awkwardly lands pretty close to her mouth.

    Actor Omari Hardwick is under fire after getting too close for comfort while greeting Beyonce at the NAACP Image Awards 👀

    People immediately began voicing their opinion on the awkward encounter, calling it “unnecessary & uncomfortable”.

    @OmariHardwick 2nd kiss was unnecessary & uncomfortable. Don’t do that again😡. We women so often get touched, kissed, groped & poked in instances exactly like this (at an event, at work, etc). WE DON’T LIKE IT. It’s time to no longer let these moments of discomfort slide. (1/3) https://t.co/ezFrdhvBsU

    I dont presume to know how Beyonce feels but...ughhh that Omari Hardwick shit reminds me of encounters I've had with some men. Then you dont want to say anything because then people will look at you like you're overreacting, so you just suffer being uncomfortable.

    The whole thing brought up a conversation about boundaries, which some believed Hardwick had crossed.

    So this Omari/Beyoncé thing - as a general rule when greeting someone, I keep it at a handshake. Kisses and hugs have to be consensual with BOTH parties.

    I know what Omari Hardwick did to Beyonce with the kisses may seem trivial to some of you, but that's what literally happens when we greet some of your dads, brothers, boyfriends, colleagues and bosses. There are boundaries and he encroached... it's disconcerting

    However, some people highlighted the fact that more focus was being placed on Jay-Z’s reaction than on how Beyoncé might be feeling.

    Some ppl are more focused on Omari offending Jay than they are about Beyonce's discomfort and I really am troubled by that

    That omari Beyonce vid commentary is pissing me off. people be talking about he disrespected jay z he was stood right there. You don't do that to someone's wife. How about he disrespected Beyonce the woman don't be mad about it just bc she's someone's wife, she's a woman first.

    Others weren’t so sure that the situation was anything more than an “awkward interaction” that just happened to be caught on video.

    The video of Omari Hardwick and Beyonce is definitely awkward as hell, but I think that’s it. An awkward interaction. I don’t get what this extra stuff is all about 🥴

    The fact Omari Hardwick is trending for “kissing” Beyoncé proves that: 1. There are a lot of people with an unhealthy obsession with Beyoncé. 2. Most people, celebrities included, still have awkward interactions with people they admire.

    Some also wondered if it was a cultural thing that had been misconstrued.

    And while this may be seen as a sign of respect in some cultures, it can also be viewed as invasive and offensive by others. I grew up in a Haitian household where I was taught to greet my elders, family members, and church leaders the same way Omari Hardwick greeted Beyoncé.

    BuzzFeed has reached out to reps for Omari Hardwick for comment.

    Ben Henry is a celebrity reporter for BuzzFeed UK and is based in London.

    Contact Ben Henry at ben.henry@buzzfeed.com.

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