Kevin Hart and his wife Eniko, however, had to fend off folks who criticized them for using a ‘Cowboys and Indians’ party theme to celebrate their son Kenzo’s first birthday. Critics called it a “disgusting” assault against Native Americans heritage.
“Zos cowboys & indians party was nothing but amazing! Thanks to everyone for coming.. we love you guys!” Eniko Hart wrote on Instagram Thursday, along with a picture of family and friends outfitted in Native American garb who attended the first birthday festivities.
Social media, however, let them have it saying that indigenous people have always taken offense to cowboys and Indians parties.
“Disgusting. This is equivalent to having a kkk and black slaves party. #interminorityappropriation,” wrote @smitmk01.
Others urged the Harts to look at the party celebration from different lenses, comparing it to blackface and insensitive for using native culture and garb as costumes.
“So when ppl do blackface or dress as slave and owner for halloween ya cool with it? Yuuuuuup thats what i thought,” wrote @gymandtattooposts.
“So, it’s clear there are large similarities between blackface and playing Indian — both are intentional acts that draw upon stereotypes and a racist history to enact whiteness — but our Nation has created a narrative in which blackface=racist, while redface=normal,” wrote Adrienne K. on the website NativeAppropriations.
“Just because our national narrative and history has somehow normalized the phenomenon does not excuse its roots in the process of systematic erasure of the First Peoples from our homelands.”
Some people defended the Harts and argued that people were being overly sensitive.
“I truly hope you and Kevin don’t apologize for this!!”@through1eye wrote to Eniko. “Welcome to the generation of offended. It’s a sad day when a child can’t even have an innocent cowboy and indian themed party.”
Eniko and Kevin Hart have yet to respond to the drama and likely won’t.