- In a song on Eminem’s newly released album, the rapper references the 2017 Manchester bombing that killed 22 Ariana Grande concertgoers.
- His lyrics received backlash from many who accused him of being insensitive, including relatives of the victims and Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham.
- Others defended Eminem, arguing that his lyrics are known to be controversial and pointing to his help in raising over £2 million for those affected by the attack.
Rapper Eminem, whose real name is Marshall Mathers, is facing backlash over lyrics from his new album that reference the 2017 Manchester bombing of an Ariana Grande concert.
The track “Unaccommodating” is featured on his new album “Music to Be Murdered By,” which was released on Friday. In this song, Eminem raps controversial lyrics that appear to make light of the attack: “I’m contemplating yelling ‘bombs away’ on the game like I’m outside of an Ariana Grande concert waiting.” The line is followed by the sound of an explosion.
In May 2017, a suicide bomber killed 22 other people and injured over 100 more at the end of one of Grande’s performances at Manchester Arena in the United Kingdom.
Backlash for Eminem
For many, Eminem’s lyrics sparked outrage. Andy Burnham, the mayor of Greater Manchester, accused the 47-year-old rapper of being insensitive to the tragedy.
“This is unnecessarily hurtful and deeply disrespectful to the families and all those affected,” Burnham told BBC News.
Figen Murray, whose son Martyn Hett was among the Manchester victims, echoed the mayor’s sentiment. In a tweet that she has since deleted because of “abuse and insults,” Murray called the lyrics “totally pointless.”
Other Twitter users jumped on Eminem, accusing him of exploiting the bombing.
Defense of Eminem
While Eminem’s lyrics offended many people, others jumped to his defense. Some pointed out that in the days following the Manchester bombing, he encouraged his followers to contribute to a crowdfunding page for the British Red Cross and families of the victims, helping raise the donations to over £2 million.
Others pointed out that Eminem is known for his controversial lyrics and argued that people shouldn’t be surprised by his latest. The musician had previously referenced the Manchester bombing in a 2018 song that came out of a “nothing’s off-limits” freestyle rap battle. In his new album, he name-drops Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, and serial killer John Wayne Gacy on the new album.
“This is Eminem,” one person wrote. “Slim Shady. Marshall. He’s been doing this for 20+ years and hasn’t apologised yet.”
Is this the first time they have heard Eminem? bc being controversial is what his music is all about bc it’s suppose to be.— SavagedSince1492 (@Indigenous_Me) January 18, 2020
Other tracks on Eminem’s new album raised eyebrows, including “Darkness,” in which he raps from the perspective of the Las Vegas shooter who murdered over fifty people in October 2017. At the end of the official music video, a PSA about gun control comes on screen, urging people to register to vote to change gun laws.
The video received mixed reviews, with some praising it as a social justice move and others calling gruesome and saying that it missed the mark.
Tiger Woods Recovering From Surgery After Serious Car Crash
- Golf star Tiger Woods was rushed to a hospital in Los Angeles County Tuesday morning after he was involved in a single-car crash.
- Authorities say Woods hit a median strip while traveling at a “greater than normal speed” on a downhill and curved two-way road.
- His SUV traveled several hundred feet, rolled over multiple times, and came to a rest in the brush on the opposite side of the road.
- By Tuesday night, a spokesperson said he was awake and recovering after undergoing surgery for broken bones in his lower right leg and ankle.
Tiger Woods Crashes
Golf star Tiger Woods was rushed to a hospital in Los Angeles County Tuesday morning after he was involved in a single-car crash.
Authorities say he was driving at a “greater speed than normal” on a downhill and curved road that is a known trouble spot for accidents.
Woods reportedly hit a median strip on the two-lane road, then traveled several hundred feet, rolled over multiple times, and came to a rest in the brush on the opposite side of the road.
Representatives for Woods issued a statement on social media last night, saying he was awake and recovering in a hospital after undergoing a long surgery.
The Chief Medical Officer at UCLA Medical Center said in the statement that both bones in Woods’s lower right leg, the tibia and fibula, had been broken in multiple places and were “open fractures,” meaning they pierced his skin.
They said doctors had “stabilized” the breaks by placing a rod into the tibia. Additional bones in Woods’s ankle and foot were also injured and were “stabilized with a combination of screws and pins.”
The statement did not mention any injuries to Woods’s left leg, though the county’s fire chief said earlier in the day that Woods had suffered serious injuries to both legs.
Authorities Say He’s Lucky To Be Alive
After seeing the crash site, LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said it was “nothing short of a miracle” that Woods was alive.
Authorities believed Wood’s seat belt, along with safety features in his SUV, likely saved his life.
Sheriff Villanueva also said there was no evidence of impairment and there was no effort to draw blood for a test at the hospital.
The crash comes as Woods was recovering from his fifth back operation, which took place last month. It marks a devastating blow to the golfer, who was hoping to recover and compete in another tournament this April.
See what others are saying: (The New York Times) (ESPN) (CNN)
Zendaya Says Criticism of “Malcolm & Marie” Stripped Her and Co-Star John David Washington of Their Agency
- The Netflix film “Malcolm & Marie” faced criticism from viewers who said writer and director Sam Levinson used two Black actors, Zendaya and John David Washington, to voice his own personal opinions on race and identity politics in Hollywood.
- However, Zendaya told The New York Times the criticism was unfair because both she and Washington helped Levinson craft the script and were producers of the film.
- “I think a little bit of our agency was stripped away,” she said. “John David, I and Sam equally own this film.”
- She later told the Los Angeles Times that she feels the conversations she had with Levinson about race came through in the film’s script.
“Malcolm & Marie” Faces Criticism
Zendaya is addressing the backlash and criticism that her film “Malcolm & Marie” has received for its discussions of race in Hollywood.
The film, written and directed by Sam Levinson, co-stars Zendaya and John David Washington as a couple that spends the night arguing after getting home from the premiere of a film Washington’s character directed.
“Malcolm & Marie” is full of long and winding monologues not just about relationship troubles, but also about the roles race and identity politics play in the interpretation and criticism of film.
Ironically but perhaps intentionally, those monologues are at the center of the criticism the movie has received. Journalists have panned the film, and speeches delivered by Washington’s Malcolm in particular, for their trite and exhausting dialogue that ultimately runs in circles.
Many have specifically taken issue with the fact that Levinson, a white man and the son of a famed director himself, seemingly inserted his own angers about film criticism into words uttered by two acclaimed Black actors.
“There are many moments where it feels as if Malcolm, who is a Black Hollywood director, serves as a mouthpiece for Levinson’s own opinions on race and filmmaking,” Micha Frazer-Carroll wrote for The Independent.
In a piece for The Guardian, Robert Daniels wrote that the film uses Black actors to vent white frustration. Daniels suggested that Levinson could have used the character of Malcolm to discuss the way white critics interpret work by Black filmmakers, but instead, “uses Malcolm as a black shield for his real target, not the critics who analyze black works, but the ones who interpret his.”
“As ‘Malcolm & Marie’ unfurls, Levinson shifts Malcolm’s voice from a black one, to the white director’s own,” Daniels continued.
Zendaya Addresses Backlash
However, Zendaya feels these criticisms are unfair and disregard the fact that both she and Washington produced the film and were heavily involved in every aspect its creation. Levinson and both of the stars have talked numerous times about how collaborative the set was and how Zendaya and Washington were part of the process of crafting the script and their characters.
“I think a little bit of our agency was stripped away,” she told The New York Times on Sunday. “Like this was just kind of Sam spewing things through us without realizing that we are not only actors in this, but we’re co-financiers and producers with P.G.A. marks. You can’t get those unless you actually do the job.”
“John David, I and Sam equally own this film,” she continued. “It’s not like it belongs to someone else and I just got cast in it. He wrote it for us too, and I think if you’re going to write something, you have to acknowledge experiences of the [Black] character you’re writing.”
In a Tuesday piece from the Los Angeles Times, she expanded on how personal producing this project felt to her.
“I’m putting my own money into it,” the actress explained. “I’m producing something, so I’m putting myself out there in a much more vulnerable position than I’ve ever been in.”
She also said that she spoke about Levinson about race and Hollywood and felt that her ideas did come through in the script.
“There’s conversations that I’ve had with Sam that reflect a little bit in things that Malcolm says about his creativity and being boxed in, specifically being a Black creative that feels like there’s a certain lens their work is looked through — those kinds of things,” she said.
Levinson has similarly dismissed criticisms made about him being white and making a film with Black protagonists.
“I have faith in the collaborative process and in my partners that if I write something that doesn’t feel true, that JD or Z don’t respond to or feel to be honest, that they are going to say something and we’ll work it out,” he told Esquire. “I didn’t have anxiety in that sense because I have too much respect for the collaborative nature of filmmaking.”
See what others are saying: (Los Angeles Times) (New York Times) (IndieWire)
DaBaby Responds To Claims That He Dissed JoJo Siwa
- Rapper DaBaby clarified Sunday that the lyric, “You a b*tch, JoJo Siwa,” in his song “Beatbox Freestyle” was not meant to diss the 17-year-old children’s entertainer.
- After facing intense criticism, DaBaby tweeted at Siwa claiming his toddler is a big fan of hers, adding, “Don’t let em trick you into thinking id ever have a problem with you. My wordplay just went over their heads.”
- Several outlets suggested that “JoJo” was a reference to himself since DaBaby’s real name is Jonathan.
- Based on other tweets from the rapper, “Siwa” was intended to sound like “see why,” making the use of her name mean “Jonathan see why.”
DaBaby References JoJo Siwa in Lyric
DaBaby said he has no beef with JoJo Siwa after he was accused of dissing the 17-year-old children’s entertainer in a new song.
DaBaby released the video for “Beatbox Freestyle” on Friday. Following its release, he was criticized for rapping the lyric “You a b*tch, JoJo Siwa (B*tch.)”
The lyric outraged many people who felt it was insulting and uncalled for. Popular YouTube creators including James Charles, Nikita Dragun, and Tana Mongeau all called him out for mentioning Siwa in the song.
“Can someone please explain why da baby is dissing jojo siwa when she’s 12 years younger, 10 times richer, and 2 inches taller than him,” Charles wrote on Twitter.
DaBaby Says He Has No Issues with JoJo Siwa
In a series of tweets on Sunday, DaBaby cleared the air and said the lyric was not meant to attack Siwa herself. He tagged Siwa in one post and said his 3-year-old daughter is actually a big fan of the teen star.
“Don’t let em trick you into thinking id ever have a problem with you,” DaBaby continued. “My word play just went over their heads. All love on my end shawty, Keep shinning!”
Entertainment Tonight explained that “JoJo” is short for DaBaby’s real name, Jonathan. He used “Siwa” as a shorthand for “see why,” so the lyric is effectively saying “Jonathan see why.” In several tweets, he referenced that wordplay and joked about how so many people misunderstood it.
“I don’t ‘Siwa’ they so mad either bae,” he wrote in one tweet.
DaBaby also addressed the situation on Instagram, where he expressed frustration with outlets trying to suggest he might really be feuding with Siwa.
“Y’all MFs sick lol,” he wrote in his story on Sunday. “Y’all okay w/ that child being tricked into thinking i got a problem with her. WE FUCK WIT YOU JOJO.”
Siwa has not yet responded to the lyric or DaBaby’s explanation of it.