The stars attended the 2019 NAACP Image Awards Saturday, March 30, where entertainer of the year winner Bey joined husband Jay-Z, who was honored with the President’s Award. NAACP President Derrick Johnson said in a statement the award is one “we carefully bestow upon an individual, maintaining its significance and commitment to recognizing excellence in service that directly affects our community.”
As the celebs mingled between trophies being handed out, Hardwick greeted Bey with not one but two kisses as his “Power” co-star Naturi Naughton stood by awaiting her own photo op with the superstar performer.
The first kiss — a peck on the cheek — coincided with a hug that seemed welcome. But then, Hardwick went in for another kiss. This time, it was closer to Beyoncé’s mouth and the star appeared uncomfortable as she adjusted her hair right afterward.
The moment, which quickly went viral, had the singer’s fans up in arms.
“Omari better f–king know his place… that second kiss was to much! Beyoncé didn’t even like that s–t! I’m heated. I’m crazy, I know.”
“N—a how dare you, tryna moisturize them ashy ass lips on the queen b skin. Get ready to get stung marker hairline having ass n—a. ”
“He’s disgusting bey looked so uncomfortable after :(”
Then, the memes began. Several said the second kiss close to Bey’s mouth was Hardwick’s “Power” character Ghost trying to make a move.
— GMACCASH (@GmacCash) March 31, 2019
Them: Omari kissed beyonce.
Me: nah nigga ghost kissed beyonce and dissed Jay z handshake pic.twitter.com/ARCEyDQcSE
— TREY PAUL (@TREYXPAUL) April 1, 2019
“We’re not gonna mention how Omari Hardwick gave Beyoncé a kiss and Ghost came back and gave her another one ”
“Omari Hardwick was in full Ghost mode when he leaned into Beyoncé for that second kiss. ”
Aside from the online hubbub over Hardwick and Beyoncé’s interaction, the night was a big one for not only Bey and Jay — who were honored with special awards — but the actor/poet/activist as well. Hardwick took home the prize for outstanding actor in a drama series, beating out actors Kofi Siriboe, Sterling K. Brown, Jason Mitchell and Keith David.