- Rapper T.I. appeared on the show Red Table Talk to responded to criticism of his previous comments about his daughter’s virginity.
- Three weeks ago, the rapped faced backlash after saying he goes to the gynecologist with his daughter to make sure her hymen is still intact.
- In the new interview, he explained that his actions stemmed from a desire to protect his daughter from the dangers of pregnancy, diseases, and heartbreak.
- He admitted he was not aware of how sensitive the issue was until after the outrage and expressed a willingness to learn more.
Nearly three weeks after his discussion about his daughter’s hymen made headlines, rapper T.I. publicly addressed his comments for the first time on a “Red Table Talk” episode released Monday.
On a now-deleted episode of the “Ladies Like Us” podcast from early November, T.I. said that he accompanies his daughter to the gynecologist to ensure her hymen is still intact. His remarks were met with much criticism from women’s rights activists and people all across the Internet.
On Monday’s episode of the talk show, the rapper told hosts Jada Pinkett Smith and her mother, Adrienne Banfield-Jones, that he was speaking up now to resolve any misconceptions about the way he parents his children, claiming that his intentions were misunderstood.
“I think all of this surrounds a conversation that I was having in a very joking manner,” he said on the backlash. “From a place of truth, I began to embellish and exaggerate.”
He went on to clarify the details of the gynecologist visits with his daughter, Deyjah Imani Harris.
“Never said I was in any exam room,” he said. “I never said that it was being done present day, as an 18-year old. And I never said that her mother wasn’t present. Her mom was present every time.”
T.I.’s wife, Tameka Harris, also appear with him on the show and chimed in to say that Deyjah Harris was 15 to 16 years old at the time of the visits.
Apology to Daughter Only
T.I. went on to say that while his daughter welcomed his presence at those gynecologist appointments earlier in her life, she did take an issue with him talking about them. He admitted that he was only addressing the comments again now with her permission.
He offered up and apology to her, but not to those who were outraged by his claims. “I’m incredibly apologetic to her for that,” he said. “Not to any of these other strangers or any of these weirdos who just kind of toss lies around for fun.”
Open to Learning
When Pinkett Smith asked T.I. if he understands the sensitivity of the whole situation, he responded, “No, I did not. I understand it now.”
He expressed his confusion and desire to learn more about how to better handle situations of this nature.
“I want to learn from you,” he said to the show’s hosts and his wife. “I want to know what is the purpose and place of a father in this society.”
T.I. added that he felt like he was being criticized for protecting his daughter.
“I don’t think anybody has a problem with you protecting your daughter,” Pinkett Smith replied. The issue, she said, is the notion of a man controlling his daughter’s virginity.
“I’m not there to protect ‘virginity,’” T.I. said. “I just know that is a big move. Once you make that move there are things that happen that follow. You have to be equipped… awareness is my first line of defense.”
He went on to say that he wants to protect his daughter from all the things that can happen after losing your virginity, like “the dangers of pregnancy, the dangers of diseases, [and] the dangers of having your heart broken.”
T.I. admitted that he only learned how serious and personal the issue was to his daughter after he made his original comments, and that he is glad to have been educated further.
“It’s great for me to have this opportunity, and I think all things happen in life for a reason,” he said. “Every lesson has a purpose and must be dealt with difficulty, but out of care, and out of concern, not out of control.”
“I don’t think that our community, our culture, our generation, can be pushed forward by having comfortable, convenient discussions,” he added. “We have to have tough discussions in order to move forward.”
See what others are saying: (LA Times) (NBC) (Daily Beast)
Netflix Reinstates Employee Who Crashed Director-Level Meeting After Criticizing Dave Chapelle
Terra Field had publicly accused Chappelle of making transphobic remarks in his new stand-up special “The Closer” just days before she was suspended.
Netflix Reinstates Terra Field
Netflix reinstated a transgender employee who was critical of Dave Chappelle’s new stand-up special after suspending her for attending a director-level meeting without an invitation.
Terra Field tweeted on Tuesday that she was reinstated once the company determined “there was no ill-intent in” her decision to attend the meeting.
“I’m going to take a few days off to decompress and try to figure out where I’m at,” she added. “At the very least, I feel vindicated.”
Field also shared an email Netflix sent her regarding her suspension being lifted.
“Our investigation did not find that you joined the QBR meeting with any ill intent and that you genuinely didn’t think there was anything wrong with seeking access to this meeting,” the email said. “Additionally, when a Director shared the link it further supported that this was a meeting you could attend.”
Field’s suspension came just days after she tweeted a viral thread criticizing Chappelle’s latest program on Netflix, “The Closer.” She was one of many activists who claimed Chappelle’s set was transphobic and encouraged Netflix to take action. Field wrote that his comments attacked “the very validity of transness.” Netflix insisted those tweets had nothing to do with her suspension.
Field reportedly attended the director-level meeting with two other employees who were also suspended. A spokesperson for Netflix told Deadline that those two staffers have likewise been reinstated and the company “will be distributing broader guidance about meetings and clarifying which are for which people.”
Netflix’s Response to Dave Chappelle Controversy
Netflix, for its part, has defended Chappelle and rejected calls to remove “The Closer” from the streaming service.
“It never feels good when people are hurting, especially our colleagues,” Netflix co-CEO Ted Srandos wrote in an internal memo. “You should also be aware that some talent may join third parties in asking us to remove the show in the coming days, which we are not going to do.”
“We don’t allow titles on Netflix that are designed to incite hate or violence, and we don’t believe The Closer crosses that line,” he added. “I recognize, however, that distinguishing between commentary and harm is hard, especially with stand-up comedy which exists to push boundaries. Some people find the art of stand-up to be mean spirited but our members enjoy it, and it’s an important part of our content offering.”
Among other things, Chappelle took time in his special to defend author J.K. Rowling, who previously faced backlash over a series of transphobic remarks she made. Chappelle said he agreed with Rowling.
“I’m team TERF,” he added. “I agree. I agree, man. Gender is a fact.”
Chappelle went on to make jokes about Caitlyn Jenner before comparing the genitalia of transgender women to Beyond and Impossible meat.
Many employees at Netflix are still frustrated with the way the platform has handled the controversy surrounding “The Closer.” According to The Verge, a trans employee resource group is planning a walkout on Oct. 20.
“Trans Lives Matter. Trans Rights Matter,” the group said in a memo. “And as an organization, Netflix has continually failed to show deep care in our mission to Entertain the World by repeatedly releasing content that harms the Trans community and continually failing to create content that represents and uplifts Trans content. We can and must do better!”
See what others are saying: (The Verge) (Deadline) (The New York Times)
Lil Nas X and Bella Poarch May Have Abandoned Plans To Participate In TikTok NFT Program
Lil Nas X’s TikTok NFT was scheduled to debut a week ago and is still not available to the public.
Creators Allegedly Leave TikTok’s NFT Program
Musicians Lil Nas X and Bella Poarch may have quietly exited TikTok’s new NFT collection, according to a report from Rolling Stone.
TikTok first announced the line, which is called “TikTok Top Moments,” at the end of September. It involves a series of creator-led NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, which are unique and tradeable digital assets. TikTok’s NFTs can be purchased with the cryptocurrency Ethereum. According to a press release, the money will “largely go directly to the creators and NFT artists involved.”
TikTok said that creators like Poarch, Lil Nas X, Grimes, Curtis Roach, Brittany Broski, and more would be participating in the program. The company called NFTs an “empowerment tool” that will allow these creators to “be recognized and rewarded for their content.” It planned to debut the collection on Oct. 6 with Lil Nas X’s NFT, but that token has still not been made available. A source told Rolling Stone that it may never be released.
NFT Rollout Described as “A Mess”
The outlet also reported that Poarch is “actively contemplating pulling out of the program due to worries about its execution.” According to Rolling Stone, three sources familiar with the rollout of the program have described it as “a challenge,” “a mess,” and “a complete joke.”
Those sources claimed that in order to secure Poarch’s initial participation, TikTok offered her marketing support worth potentially $4 million for her next release. The company also allegedly promised to use one of her songs in an end-of-year campaign. A spokesperson for TikTok, however, described these claims as “not accurate.”
Neither Poarch nor Lil Nas X has commented on their participation yet. Meanwhile, TikTok declined to answer Rolling Stone’s questions about the status of their NFTs.
Some of TikTok’s announced NFTs have gone public, though. Throughout Tuesday, Roach’s “Bored in the House” video was up for auction on the platform Immutable.
NFTs took the internet by storm in early 2021, but their popularity peaked in May and declined throughout the summer. Celebrities, tech moguls, and everyday people featured in viral memes have hopped on the trend and made millions doing so.
According to Rolling Stone, TikTok has valued some of its own NFTs at $1 million. Now, it’s unclear if those tokens will ever hit the market.
See what others are saying: (Rolling Stone) (Dexerto)
Ariana Grande, Bella Hadid, and Others Honor World Mental Health Day
A slew of stars acknowledged the day by sharing personal stories and making hefty donations to organizations that offer mental health resources.
Celebrities Donate to Mental Health Organizations
Major celebrities honored World Mental Health Day on Sunday by speaking candidly about their mental health struggles and donating to nonprofits.
Singer Ariana Grande announced that she is donating $5 million worth of free therapy through the online counseling platform Better Help. The star previously partnered with the company over the summer to give $1 million in therapy to fans and opted to throw more money at the program following its success.
“I acknowledge that there are very real barriers when it comes to accessing mental health resources, and while this is only one small gesture (and a much larger systemic problem remains) I wanted to do this again with @betterhelp in hopes of bringing access to a few more people and perhaps inspiring a few of you to try something new and prioritize your own healing,” Grande wrote on Instagram.
Those interested can sign up for a free first month of Better Help and get an additional 15% off the second month.
Model Bella Hadid also pledged to donate to mental health resources. She teamed up with the beverage company Kin Euphorics, which will donate 10% of its October sales to Gurls Talk, a nonprofit that gives adolescent girls a space to talk about mental health, along with various educational tools to aid those discussions. Hadid will match those donations.
“Dealing with mental illness for most of my life, bringing awareness to the education of mental health through my platform is something that I will continue to do until our mental is just as respected as our physical,” Hadid wrote. “I want everyone who struggles daily to know that you are not alone.”
Stars Share Resources and Personal Stories
Meanwhile, actress and singer Selena Gomez used her new makeup brand Rare Beauty to share statistics about the prevalence of mental illness and the efforts to combat it. The company, which has previously focused on several mental health initiatives, shared that just 1.3% of philanthropic investments go towards supporting mental health.
The company additionally cited information from an American Psychological Association report, which revealed that young people are particularly vulnerable to mental health struggles. It found that seven out of 10 Gen Z adults are more likely to report experiencing depression symptoms compared to other generations.
Gomez shared Rare Beauty’s post to her own story as well.
Singer Olivia Rodrigo similarly opened up about mental health and therapy during an interview with CBS that aired Sunday. In it, she said she has been in therapy since she was 16, which she believes has helped her both personally and professionally.
“That was a really big, life-changing moment,” she said. “I’ve learned so much about myself.”
“I think there’s sometimes a stigma around it, too, like I was saying,” the singer continued. “Sometimes people are like, ‘Oh, you don’t need that. You have so much. Your life is so great. What are your problems?’ I think that’s definitely a thing that sometimes older people can do to younger people to kind of trivialize what they’re going through.”