Kevin Hart has avoided making jokes about President Donald Trump since Trump took office last year, but at last night's MTV Video Music Awards, the comedian made an exception.
"At this game, you guys can kneel. You can do whatever the hell you want There's no old white man that can stop you," Hart said Monday at New York City's Radio City Music Hall, comparing the awards show to a football game. "You never know what's going to happen at the VMAs. I mean, beefs pop off, bad language, people sending out crazy tweets — it's basically like your typical day at the White House. In your face, Trump — suck it!"
The comment was an unusual one for Hart, who has said in the past that he prefers to stay away from political material onstage to avoid alienating a segment of his audience. As Hart told Variety in May last year, the "political realm" is "really not a laughing matter," and the comedian didn't want to "draw attention to things I don't have nice things to say about."
"The way I see it, my job as a comedian is to spread positivity. To make people laugh," he reiterated to the Daily Beast in August last year. "And I don't want to draw attention to what's already pissing us as a people off."
Other comedians, however, have dug into the Trump administration onstage, including Kathy Griffin, who last year controversially posed with a mock severed head of Trump and was later investigated by the Secret Service. In an interview with USA Today in June, Griffin called Hart's avoidance of political jokes a "p- move, because he's a black man."
"But I guess he's selling more tickets than I ever will," Griffin added.
Hart's dig at Trump was not the only one at the VMAs on Monday. Rapper Logic wore a shirt reading "F- the Wall," and shared the stage with immigrants donning t-shirts that read, "We are all human beings."
While relatively mild, Hart's joke resulted in boycott threats from Trump supporters online: