Power’s Omari Hardwick drew the ire of offended Beyoncé fans after an awkward congratulatory kiss with the singer at the NAACP Image Awards on Saturday, reports Complex.
In video captured at the event, Hardwick greeted the mega-star with a couple of kisses, including one dangerously close to her mouth.
Beyoncé was typically gracious after the encounter, but the Beyhive was not happy upon viewing what they claimed was the actor overstepping his bounds with the artist.
One fan wrote on Twitter, “Second 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.”
Another user said, “A respectable handshake would have worked just fine from Omari Hardwick. Women don’t need to be grabbed, hugged and kissed unless it’s your wife/girlfriend. Beyoncé should have slapped him!”
Beyoncé was the recipient of the night’s Entertainer of the Year award, and beat out Chadwick Boseman, Ryan Coogler, Regina King, and LeBron James for the honor.
In her acceptance speech, Beyoncé thanked her fellow nominees in the category, per Page Six.
“Regina King, I love you so much, you’ve taught us patience, persistence and how to be masterful in your craft,” she said. “Chadwick Boseman is teaching children to dream and to see themselves as kings.”
“LeBron James has taught us that strength of all forms and leading by example and providing education for our kids. [sic] Ryan Coogler tells our stories in a way that celebrates our history, and proves that we do have power at the box office.”
Husband Jay-Z received the President’s Award and took the stage at Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre to dedicate his award to “beautiful woman” Beyoncé. He also gave credit to his grandmother and mother for their influence when growing up. The rapper stated that because of them, he believed he could conquer anything.
Omari Hardwick also won Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series, with his show Power winning Outstanding Drama Series.
Marvel’s Black Panther was awarded Outstanding Motion Picture, Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture (Boseman) and Outstanding Breakthrough Performance in a Motion Picture (Letitia Wright).
Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture went to Amandla Stenberg of The Hate U Give.
According to Page Six, Chris Rock made headlines for his scathing remarks about NAACP award nominee Jussie Smollett after the comedian said producers requested he not make jokes about the actor and his highly publicized scandal.
Lena Waithe, who attended the ceremony, defended the Empire actor in an interview to Variety on the red carpet. “Being queer and black is like having a target on your back every time you walk out the door.”