Beyoncé and Jay-Z attended the 50th NAACP Image Awards this weekend, where she won the award for Entertainer of the Year. But that wasn’t the biggest news of the night. The most talked about moment from the evening was when actor Omari Hardwick kissed Beyoncé on her cheek, twice, and the Bey-hive started to swarm.
A video posted online showed the whole interaction: the Power actor kissed Bey on her cheek, then hugged her, then kissed her cheek again, although this time it was a little closer to her mouth. Umm.
Actor Omari Hardwick is under fire after getting too close for comfort while greeting Beyonce at the NAACP Image Awards ???? pic.twitter.com/ZOahxom3rg
— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) March 31, 2019
People on Twitter immediately started commenting on the awkward encounter, with one person calling the kiss “unnecessary and 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
— Farhana (@farhana_io) March 31, 2019
Other people felt that they could relate, having been trapped in positions like that with men before.
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.
— Keet Harington (@D0MXNXQUE) March 31, 2019
Some people felt that Omari had definitely crossed a line.
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
— jean-michel's sister (@ontosphileo) March 31, 2019
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.
— Rebecca Theodore-Vachon (@FilmFatale_NYC) March 31, 2019
A lot of people also focused on Jay’s reaction to his wife being kissed more than on Beyoncé’s reaction, something some social media users found troubling.
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.
— Jas (@Kartrashh) March 31, 2019
Some ppl are more focused on Omari offending Jay than they are about Beyonce's discomfort and I really am troubled by that
— Zindzi the Pony (@MissZindzi) March 31, 2019
Others thought thatthe whole thing was just a simple, slightly awkward encounter that got blown “way out of proportion.”
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 ????
— Love Island Commentator (@_Azryah) March 31, 2019
I agree, I think people are blowing this way out of proportion. None of us know what was going on in either of their heads. It looked awkward but there could be a million reasons why.
— Katie (@kmar71) March 31, 2019
I really hope Beyonce comments on this. People are so presumptuous and ready to “call someone out” but A) we cant read her mind and assume she was uncomfortable based on a 3 second clip B) we can’t assume his motives were anything other than a friendly gesture based on 3 seconds.
— Al Bama (@Al_BamaI65South) March 31, 2019
And still others wondered if maybe it was a cultural thing that had been misunderstood.
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.
— JAIDUS (@Jaidus_) March 31, 2019
Well, until Beyoncé speaks out about the moment (if she does at all), we’ll have no idea what she was feeling. But almost every woman in the world has found herself in that awkward position of being kissed or hugged by some man that they really didn’t want touching them, even if he’s a friend. So it makes sense that women would be up in arms on Bey’s behalf.