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T.I. Addresses Backlash Over Having His Daughter’s Hymen Checked

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  • 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.

Clearing Misconceptions

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. 

Previous coverage of T.I.’s comments .

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)

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Dave Chappelle Decides Against Having Former High School’s Theater Named After Him

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“The idea that my name will be turned into an instrument of someone else’s perceived oppression is untenable to me,” the comedian reportedly said.


Theater Named Announced

Comedian Dave Chappelle opted on Monday to not have the theater at his alma mater high school named after him, according to a report from The Washington Post

The Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington D.C. previously planned to name its theater in honor of Chappelle, as he is a distinct alum and donor. While Chappelle formerly said such a gesture would be “the most significant honor of [his] life,” he announced during Monday’s naming ceremony that it would bear a different title. 

The school’s theater will instead be called the Theater for Artistic Freedom and Expression. 

A naming ceremony was initially set to take place in November, but was postponed after the comedian began facing backlash for transphobic jokes in his Netflix special “The Closer.”

Among other things, he said he was “Team TERF,” which stands for trans-exclusionary radical feminist. He also made a joke about Caitlyn Jenner and remarks comparing the genitalia of transgender women to Beyond and Impossible meat.

The jokes embroiled Chappelle in controversy, and reports claimed that some students at Duke Ellington took issue with the comments. When Chappelle ended up visiting the school amid the scandal, Politico reported that one student told the comedian, “I’m 16 and I think you’re childish, you handled it like a child.”

Chappelle Defends Controversial Special 

According to The Post, Chappelle said the criticism against him “sincerely” hurt, but added that “the Ellington Family is my family.” He claimed he did not want the theater being named after him to distract students. 

“The idea that my name will be turned into an instrument of someone else’s perceived oppression is untenable to me,” he said according to Josh Rogin, a columnist for the outlet.

Rogin also tweeted that Chappelle took time out of the ceremony to slam the criticisms levied against him, accusing upset students of promoting someone else’s agenda. 

“These kids didn’t understand that they were instruments of oppression,” he reportedly said. 

“You cannot report on an artist’s work and remove artistic nuance,” Chappelle continued while denouncing the press coverage of his Netflix special. 

According to David Frum, a staff writer for The Atlantic who attended the ceremony, Chappelle suggested he was open to potentially adding his name to the theater at a later date when the community is ready. 

See what others are saying: (The Washington Post) (Variety) (The Atlantic)

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Chris Evans Says People Upset With Same-Gender “Lightyear” Kiss Are “Idiots”

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The kiss was previously removed from the film until a surge of backlash from Pixar employees prompted Disney to reinstate it. 


Chris Evans Supports “Lightyear” Scene

“Lightyear” star Chris Evans is standing against people who have criticized the same-gender kiss scene in the upcoming Pixar film. 

“The real truth is those people are idiots,” the actor told Reuters this week when discussing negative reactions to the scene’s inclusion. 

“The American story, the human story is one of constant social awakening and growth and that’s what makes us good,” he continued. 

Countries like Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, and more have banned the release of “Lightyear” over the kiss, which is between two women. Right-wing pundits in the U.S. have also slammed it, and user reviews for the picture on websites like IMDB have claimed that movie-going has “become an avenue for political propaganda.”

Evans argued those opinions are outdated. 

“There’s always going to be people who are afraid and unaware and trying to hold on to what was before. But those people die off like dinosaurs,” he said. “I think the goal is to pay them no mind, march forward and embrace the growth that makes us human.”

“Lightyear” hits theaters on Friday starring Evans as the titular Buzz Lightyear. Evans, however, is not playing the action figure made famous in the “Toy Story” movies and is instead playing an animated human astronaut who inspired the toy.

Kiss Scene Almost Never Made it to Big Screen

According to outlets that have reviewed the film, the same-gender kiss is between Alisha Hawthorne, a character voiced by Uzo Aduba, and her wife. 

Multiple reports have stated that Disney was always supportive of depicting a gay couple in the picture, but was more hesitant about showing an on-screen kiss between the two. The studio previously had the scene removed from the film until a swell of backlash prompted it to reinstate the kiss.

The decision came in March amid criticisms over Disney’s slow response to Florida’s controversial “Don’t Say Gay” bill. At the time, a group of Pixar employees wrote an open letter claiming that they have pushed for more inclusion in their films, but “nearly every moment of overtly gay affection is cut at Disney’s behest.” 

Now that the scene made the final cut of “Lightyear,” it has been a large topic of conversation leading up to the film’s release. On Monday, Evans told Variety that the inclusion of the scene makes him “happy,” but he hopes one day, scenes like this will be considered standard. 

“It’s tough to not be a little frustrated that it even has to be a topic of discussion,” he said. “That it is this kind of ‘news.’ The goal is that we can get to a point where it is the norm, and that this doesn’t have to be some uncharted waters, that eventually this is just the way it is.”

See what others are saying (Reuters) (Variety) (IndieWire)

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YouTube Shorts Hits 1.5 Billion Monthly Logged-In Users 

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The company says the success of Shorts is bringing more viewers to its long-form content.


YouTube Shorts Reaches Milestone

Less than two years after its launch, YouTube Shorts is reaching 1.5 billion logged-in users every month, according to reports from TechCrunch and Variety on Wednesday.

YouTube launched its Shorts feature to compete with TikTok, the social media app that has taken over the internet with its bite-sized content. Its effort appears to be successful, as these new numbers put YouTube Shorts on track with the Gen Z-beloved app. 

In September 2021, TikTok announced it had reached one billion monthly users. It has not released updated data since, but analysts projected it could reach 1.5 billion sometime in 2022. 

While Shorts were created to rival the trending content on TikTok, YouTube has remained committed to the long-form content that has served as the platform’s bread and butter. In its announcement, the company touted that Shorts served as an entryway for viewers to watch more of this long-form content and discover new creators along the way. 

In a release, YouTube said the synergy built by this expansion has allowed for “the rise of the multiformat creator.”

“Long-form content remains the best way for creators to deeply engage and develop long-term relationships with their audiences,” Tara Walpert Levy, YouTube’s Vice President of the Americas, said in a statement. “But Shorts offer an exciting, new way to be a part of a viewer’s journey and to introduce themselves and their whole portfolio to new audiences. This approach is yielding real results; channels uploading both short and long-form content are seeing better overall watch time and subscriber growth than those uploading only one format.”

The Competition Posed by TikTok

For its part, YouTube put a lot of effort into making Shorts thrive on its platform. Among other measures, the company created a $100 million fund incentivizing creators to make the quick videos. 

The Google-owned video giant is far from the only social media company to try to wrestle with TikTok’s success. Facebook and Instagram began rolling out Reels two years ago while TikTok was experiencing a surge of pandemic users. 

In turn, TikTok has also made changes to its app to keep up with other social platforms. Recently, it extended its maximum video length to ten minutes, meaning its short-form content may not always be so short. 

By using short videos to drive more power behind longer content, YouTube is hoping to cover both bases. Neal Mohan, YouTube’s Chief Product Officer, said that even though the company is only at “the beginning” of its journey with Shorts, he knows “the product will continue to be an integral part of the YouTube experience moving forward.”

See what others are saying: (TechCrunch) (Variety) (The Verge)

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