Comedian Kevin Hart hit back at fellow comedian Katt Williams this week, after Williams made several incendiary comments about Hart and other Black comedians in a viral interview. The bitter war of words seems to have reignited a long-standing feud between the two stars.
Williams Unleashes Criticism in Podcast Appearance
The controversy started when Williams appeared as a guest on former NFL player Shannon Sharpe’s “Club Shay Shay” podcast on January 3rd. In the wide-ranging interview, Williams levied harsh criticisms against Hart, Steve Harvey, Tyler Perry, and other prominent African American entertainers.
Williams accused Hart of being unfunny and reliant on co-star roles, saying:
“Kevin is a workhorse because Kevin will show up and do whatever you ask Kevin to do. But Kevin is not funny. Kevin doesn’t have a special where he does comedy.”
He also alleged that Perry and Harvey had compromised their comedy careers for money and mainstream appeal. According to Williams, Perry’s Madea character was “fattening up Black women,” while Harvey was “just potato head Black people.”
Hart Posts Cryptic Reaction on Social Media
Hart initially responded to Williams’ comments on January 4th by posting a cryptic message on his Twitter account:
“I have nothing but love in my heart for every comedian… We are all on this crazy journey together. Let’s continue to encourage and lift each other up.”
The tweet concluded with several prayer hand emojis, in an apparent attempt to take the high road.
However, in a follow-up Instagram video later the same day, Hart took a more aggressive tone – seeming to mock Williams as an irrelevant “D-list celebrity.”
“I’m not sure why this world believes people will just stand around getting constantly picked on by bums… There comes a point where you have to defend yourself and your brand. That point is today. Keep my name out your mouth clown.”
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The social media spat signaled an escalation of the ongoing feud between the two comedians.
History of Beef and Bad Blood
Hart and Williams have traded barbs on and off for over a decade. Their beef seemingly started around 2011, when Williams criticized Hart for the direction he was taking his standup comedy career.
In a 2012 radio interview, Williams said “I like Kevin Hart, but Kevin Hart is going to be a problem for Black comedians.” He argued that Hart was moving too far towards an uncontroversial, mainstream style embraced by White audiences.
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The sniping has continued on and off since then, with Williams frequently dismissing Hart as derivative and over-reliant on writers.
Hart has mostly avoided responding directly to Williams over the years. But the latest podcast comments seem to have struck a nerve, prompting an uncharacteristically forceful clapback.
What’s Next in the Saga?
It remains to be seen whether Williams will retaliate to Hart’s Instagram rebuke or let the matter drop. But given the long history of back-and-forth barbs, few expect this to be the last word.
Some comedy insiders think Hart may have felt pressure to respond strongly this time, as Williams also targeted high-profile allies like Steve Harvey. Shutting down Williams forcefully could discourage future broadsides.
Ultimately, the ugly feud seems symptomatic of a broader generational divide among Black comedians. Williams represents an old guard who believes mainstream success requires sacrificing artistic authenticity. Meanwhile, Hart embodies a new wave focused on universal appeal.
With tensions flaring on both sides, more verbal sparring seems inevitable before this beef finally gets squashed. But for comedy fans, the drama promises plenty of dishy barbs to savor in the meantime.