- During a Q&A, a fan asked singer Shawn Mendes why he had not acknowledged racist posts he made on social media in the past.
- Mendes responded, saying his friends had taken his phone to post, but also added, “I apologize for everything insensitive that I said in the past.”
- Several fans were satisfied with his response, but many argued that he did not take enough responsibility for his words.
Old Posts Resurface
Many Shawn Mendes fans are unhappy with the singer after he gave what some feel was an inadequate apology for past offensive posts he made on social media.
In one of the now-deleted tweets from 2013, Mendes responded to a friend, writing “i can see the black coming out in you lauren!”
In other tweets posted around the same time, Mendes also wrote “Light skin girls >>” and “I’m black, burnt up ya knoe”
Mendes also allegedly used the n-word in a caption for a picture with a friend he posted to Instagram.
In a picture that appears to have been posted to Snapchat, Mendes uploaded a selfie with the caption “I HAVE AN AFRO! lmao.”
Mendes was asked about the tweets by a fan during a Q&A earlier this week.
“This is kind of a hard question, I don’t want you to take any offense to it at all, I just kind of wanted to do it for black Twitter, black Shawn stans everywhere out there,” the fan said.
“In the past, there’s a lot of kind of ignorant tweets, I guess I could say, kind of hurtful, offensive tweets that you’d tweeted before,” she continued. “Why has it never been acknowledged?”
“We get a lot of hate for us supporting you, knowing that this has been, like, your past. And not to say this is you now, or anything like that, it’s just really important for us to know, like, how you are,” she concluded.
“I just think that a lot of things just need to be moved on from,” Mendes replied. “I had friends when I was 14 who would, like, take my phone and, like, post things of them. And like, they thought it was funny that I had like 2,000 followers and it was this big thing, and they’d post photos of themselves.”
“At the time I was just, like, not thinking about it,” he continued. “I had no idea I was going to have 50 million followers. Which doesn’t make it any better, but, yeah, totally. I mean, I apologize for everything insensitive that I said in the past, but with that being said, yeah, I think that’s not my personality.”
Many fans were not happy with his response and took to Twitter to share their thoughts.
Some argued that Mendes was just blaming his friends for the post and did not take enough responsibility.
It’s literally obvious it was him and all he needs to say is “I was young, ive learned and I apologize” and move on. The fact that he refuses to take responsibility and blames it on “”friends”” is incredibly immature and pathetic. Your actions are your fault, nobody else’s.— Britney Spears Updates (@updatingbritney) August 20, 2019
It’s funny that he put the blame on his friends, but what’s funnier is how he didn’t apologize until someone called him out in front of people.— Nella (fan acc) (@shadysmj) August 20, 2019
Others responded by defending Mendes, and saying that his apology was sufficient.
his apology was valid, just say you hate him and go pic.twitter.com/OiBQSaQ05S— 𝖓𝖏 shooter for iichy (@particulaparker) August 20, 2019
he apologized everyone can shut up now <3 stop attacking him after he apologized— evelin | VAL’S DAY (@japanctrl) August 20, 2019
If yall actually watch the entire video you’ll see that he handled it well , he’s not blaming his friends he acknowledged it and apologised like he should , he educated himself and grew maybe if yall do too …— 𝒜𝓈𝓂𝒶𝒶 (@notstuckonu) August 20, 2019
See what others are saying: (Cosmopolitan) (Complex) (PopBuzz)
Bruce Willis Denies Rumors He Sold His Likeness For Deepfake Use
Deepfakes face criticism from Hollywood to social media.
Willis Debunks Rumors
Actor Bruce Willis denied rumors over the weekend that he sold his likeness to the deepfake company DeepCake.
Willis agreed last year for his face to be used in a commercial for a Russian telecoms company. For this commercial, DeepCake digitally edited Willis’ face onto a Russian actor. This sparked rumors that Willis had sold the rights to his likeness for the company to use in future projects.
However, both management for Willis and DeepCake itself denied any partnership or agreement for these rights.
“Bruce couldn’t sell anyone any rights, they are his by default,” DeepCake said.
Agreements for the AI generation of actors have been heard of before, however. Recently, actor James Earl Jones agreed for his voice to be technologically generated for the voice of Darth Vader in the Star Wars franchise.
This comes as deepfakes are facing mounting criticism online, including from prominent YouTube personality and author, Hank Green. He recently tweeted about a channel that uses similar deepfake technology and AI-voice generation to parody popular YouTube creators. He stressed his concern that while the channel in question may not be nefarious, this technology could end up being harmful.
“There are ways to do this that would be much worse, more mean spirited, and more exploitative than this,” Green said. “And I’m very worried about what that will look like, because if this is working (and allowed), people will do it.”
Among other issues, Green mentioned these videos could abuse monetization and sponsorship opportunities while exploiting someone else’s face and brand. Green even implored YouTube to evaluate its terms of service as the popularity of deepfakes rise.
See what others are saying: (BBC) (Mashable) (The Telegraph)
Twitch Faces Backlash After Booking Megan Thee Stallion At TwitchCon Amid Creator Pay Cuts
The cut in revenue share has ignited severe backlash on Twitch, where users argue pay for creators should be increased, not slashed.
Revenue Share Shake Up
Twitch users are criticizing the company for hiring artist Megan Thee Stallion to perform at TwitchCon just one week after announcing cutbacks to top creator pay.
Last week, the video and streaming platform said that starting in June of next year, some creators will receive less revenue from their subscriptions. While the standard split for subscription revenue is 50/50, some major streamers previously received a more favorable 70/30 share in premium agreement terms.
Many creators have long argued that everyone should get that 70/30 share, but Twitch took a step in the opposite direction. In the future, streamers with premium terms will only get the 70/30 slice for their first $100,000 from subscription revenue. After that, they will get bumped down to the regular 50/50 cut.
The company argued the move was necessary as the premium terms previously lacked transparency and consistency, insisting it tried to modify the policy in a way that impacted the least amount of creators. According to Twitch’s statement, 90% of streamers on standard agreements will not even be impacted by the change.
Still, this move outraged Twitch users who were furious the company was not investing more in the creators that bring so many viewers to its platform. Those frustrations were exacerbated on Wednesday when the company announced Megan Thee Stallion would make an appearance at TwitchCon, a weekend-long event set to take place in San Diego in early October.
Backlash Continues to Mount
While no details of Megan Thee Stallion’s agreement to perform have been disclosed, one can assume she charges a pretty penny to book at an event of this nature. Critics argued that if Twitch is willing to spend money on her, it should be willing to spend it on its own streamers.
“So Twitch can’t afford to pay their creators 70/30, can’t fix their media player that crashes after each ad, can’t enforce their policies so people aren’t doing inappropriate things on stream, but they can afford paying celebrities to promote their streaming site?” one person wrote.
“It’s weird that a company that just announced a bunch of budget cuts due to infrastructure costs goes out and grabs an A-list musician instead of promoting their own musicians that run on their platform,” another person claimed.
“Instead of giving your creators a cut they deserve when they do so much work, this is what you do…?” one user asked. “Maybe give your creators a better deal instead of wasting their hard earned money on things we don’t even want.”
Twitch has not responded to the outrage, but Megan Thee Stallion was not the only music act the Amazon-owned service booked for the event. Kim Petras and Meet Me at the Altar will also take the stage at TwitchCon.
The backlash comes as concerns have been mounting against Twitch for a plethora of reasons including creator pay, gambling streams, and more.
In recent months, some of the platform’s biggest names have left Twitch in favor of rival services like YouTube Gaming.
“Dahmer” Series Breaks Netflix Records Amid Backlash For Exploiting Victims’ Stories
Family members of some of the murderer’s victims say the program is “retraumatizing.”
“Dahmer” Lands Successful Week on Netflix
While criticisms mount against “Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story,” the true crime series broke Netflix’s record as the most-watched first week for a series debut.
According to data provided by the streaming giant, the Evan Peters-led show was watched for over 196 million hours between its release on Sept. 21 and Sept. 25.
“Dahmer” is the newest of several pieces of fiction and media based on the famous serial killer. Created by Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan, the series quickly generated a lot of attention online, primarily from those concerned the show is exploiting a gruesome true story.
Critics have echoed those fears, giving the show a mixed 50% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The “Critic’s Consensus” blurb on the site states that while the show is “seemingly self-aware of the peril in glorifying Jeffrey Dahmer” the story still “tilts this horror story into the realm of queasy exploitation.”
Victims’ Families Speak Out
The family of Errol Lindsey, one of Dahmer’s victims, has also spoken out against the series. In a viral tweet, Lindsey’s cousin Eric Perry said his family is “pissed about the show.”
“It’s retraumatizing over and over again, and for what?” he wrote. “How many movies/shows/documentaries do we need?”
In much of the promotion for the series, Netflix claimed it would be told from the perspective of the victims. Perry slammed that narrative, noting that his family was never even contacted by the streamer about the project.
“So when they say they’re doing this ‘with respect to the victims’ or ‘honoring the dignity of the families’, no one contacts them,” he wrote. “My cousins wake up every few months at this point with a bunch of calls and messages and they know there’s another Dahmer show. It’s cruel.”
Lindsey’s sister, Rita Isbell, echoed that claim in an essay she wrote for Insider, noting that Netflix did not notify her of the show, or ask her any questions about her brother.
She said that watching the show “felt like reliving it all over again.”
“It brought back all the emotions I was feeling back then,” she wrote.
“It’s sad that they’re just making money off of this tragedy. That’s just greed,” she continued.
Obsession With Dahmer
Controversy has also grown from some of the responses to the series, as many viewers have posted fan edits of the show that romanticize Dahmer. Some pair clips of Peters’ Dahmer with his victims to love songs or pop ballads, leaving a bad taste in the mouths of those who do not understand why someone would make content glorifying the killer.
Others have responded to the show by calling Dahmer “hot” or posting thirst tweets about his mug shot. This has resulted in a backlash of its own.
“Jeffrey Dahmer molested and murdered people, mostly black men and boys,” one person wrote. “So to see people making edits and thirst traps of him is a little off putting.”
“if I see anyone tweeting thirst tweets about Jeffrey Dahmer I’m immediately unfollowing,” another person said. “That’s so fuckin nasty.”
Concerns that this kind of media results in more people admiring Dahmer are also mounting in Milwaukee, where many of his crimes took place. According to TMZ, the city is considering creating something to honor the victims, but officials fear a physical memorial would turn into a “mecca” for Dahmer’s fans.