The Beyhive has found its next victim: Omari Hardwick. The Power star faced backlash after kissing Beyoncé at the 2019 NAACP Image Awards.
Hardwick, 45, posed for a photo with Queen Bey’s husband, Jay-Z, in the audience at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on Saturday, March 30, while Beyoncé chatted with her protégés Chloe x Halle before the ceremony kicked off. Hardwick then made his way over to the “Hold Up” singer and greeted her with a kiss on the cheek followed by a hug. As he pulled away, he gave her a second kiss closer to her mouth.
Beyoncé’s fiercely protective fan base was quick to spark a conversation about personal space while calling out Hardwick as a video of the interaction circulated on Twitter.
— BEYONCÉ LEGION (@BeyLegion) March 31, 2019
“Ghost did too damn much,” one member of the Beyhive tweeted, using the nickname of the actor’s Power character, to which another fan responded, “He caught her off guard; she looked flustered! ‘Ghost, that’s Beyonce, not Angela [Lela Loren’s character].’ The #Power she possesses! Some people get weird around her. But, I do think it was an innocent, unintentional peck.”
Other Twitter users pointed out that the 23-time Grammy winner did not appear to expect a second kiss.
“@OmariHardwick 2nd kiss was unnecessary & uncomfortable. Don’t do that again,” one person tweeted. “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.”
Another fan wrote, “Damn, Beyoncé looked extremely uncomfortable. Omari Hardwick [might] have just got the new season of power cancelled messing around with the Beyhive.”
Some tweeters, however, came to Hardwick’s defense.
“The video of Omari Hardwick and Beyonce is definitely awkward as hell, but I think that’s it,” one fan wrote. “An awkward interaction. I don’t get what this extra stuff is all about.”
As the Kick-Ass star’s name started to trend on Twitter, another user echoed that “most people, celebrities included, still have awkward interactions with people they admire.”
Beyoncé and Jay-Z, 49, were on hand at the NAACP Image Awards to accept the Entertainer of the Year Award and the President’s Award, respectively.
Saturday marked the second time in just over a week that the Beyhive was on the attack. After Tamera Mowry admitted on March 20 that she once felt charmed by Jay-Z, Beyoncé’s fans flooded the Real cohost’s Instagram comments section with bee emojis.
“I try not to look at that stuff,” Mowry, 40, told Us on Saturday. “I never thought it was going to be a big deal.”
Us Weekly has reached out to Hardwick’s rep for comment.
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