Kevin Hart's debut Egypt show cancelled after 'Afrocentric' views controversy
US comedian Kevin Hart's debut show in Egypt has been cancelled, following an outpouring of anger in the country over his past comments in support of Afrocentrism.
R Productions, the Egyptian event management company behind Hart’s tour, cited “local logistical issues” in a Facebook post on Monday which announced the cancellation.
“It is with a heavy heart that we share with you, due to local logistical issues, the cancellation of our Kevin Hart event,” the company said.
The American comedian was set to perform in Cairo, Egypt, on Tuesday. The company said it was working with the Ticketsmarche team to refund customers “in the shortest possible time”.
Hart faced a flood of criticism in the Arab world’s most populous country for promoting Afrocentrism.
The movement seeks to promote the role Black people played in history and the creation of western civilisation. Hart’s critics, however, accused him of distorting history and robbing Arabs of their claim to the country’s ancient past saying he claimed that Black Africans were once the kings of Egypt.
”We must teach our children the true history of Black Africans when they were kings in Egypt and not just the era of slavery that is cemented by education in America. Do you remember the time when we were kings?” he allegedly stated, though its unclear where the remarks originated.
A hashtag calling for Hart’s show to be cancelled or boycotted became one of the top trending topics on social media in Egypt in December.
One Twitter user said Afrocentrists "want to steal and attribute Egypt's civilization to Africans and tell modern Egyptians that we are occupying Egypt from them. We must all participate in the campaign to cancel Kevin's concert.”
Many Egyptians also criticised Hart’s financial backing of an Afrocentric animation series by the company Black Sands Entertainment, which some have accused of "Blackwashing" ancient Egyptian history.
Modern Egypt was at various points in history part of the Greek and Roman empires and was later ruled by the Islamic caliphates.
The country is an ethnically and religiously diverse nation of more than 100 million. Egyptians even claim ancestry from Circassians and Turks going back to the Ottoman Empire. There are also Egyptians of Black Nubian descent.
Some schools of thought claim that Coptic Christians, who number between 10 and 15 percent of Egypt’s population, are the most direct descendants of ancient Egyptians.