- Cosmopolitan pulled a cover of Bachelor contestant Victoria Fuller after the magazine discovered that she had previously modeled “White Lives Matter” apparel.
- The photoshoot was reportedly done for an organization wanting to prevent overfishing of white and blue marlin, and it used “white lives matter” and “blue lives matter” messaging on its promotional products.
- In a statement, editor-in-chief Jessica Pels wrote that the phrases are racist and do not reflect the Cosmo brand, so it decided to scrap Fuller’s cover.
Cosmo Cover Pulled
Cosmopolitan was all set to release a March cover featuring a contestant on the currently-airing season of The Bachelor— at least that was until the magazine discovered the woman had worn “White Lives Matter” apparel for a previous modeling gig.
Victoria Fuller, a 26-year-old medical sales representative, had secured the digital cover spot after winning a swimsuit photoshoot challenge on the show. The episode was filmed months ago in Costa Rica but wasn’t aired until Monday night, and the biggest bomb was dropped off-screen.
Editor-in-Chief Jessica Pels published a statement on the Cosmopolitan site during the airing of last night’s episode announcing the decision to pull Fuller’s cover despite her win.
“It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I found out that the woman I’d chosen had, in her past, modeled in an ad campaign wearing White Lives Matter attire,” Pels wrote.
“Ultimately what felt right was choosing not to publish the digital cover on our website or social feeds, and simply being honest with you, the audience we respect, about what happened and where we stand,” she said.
Fuller’s Controversial Photoshoot
Images of Fuller sporting the controversial slogan began circulating in January, with many Twitter users expressing their disgust in the contestant’s choice. She can be seen wearing a blue hat emblazoned with “WLM,” and other screenshots of the brand’s account show “White Lives Matter” spelled out on shirts and designs made to look like the confederate flag.
In her statement, Pels noted that the photos were reportedly shot for an organization devoted to preventing overfishing of white and blue marlin.
“It’s been reported that what she modeled for was actually a Marlin Lives Matter organization focused on preventing white and blue marlin from being overfished, which used ‘white lives matter’ and ‘blue lives matter’ messaging on its promotional shirts and hats,” Pels said.
The organization’s Instagram page, @wlmapparel_clothing, no longer exists.
Regardless of the explanation behind the use of the slogans, Pels was not having it.
“Both phrases and the belief systems they represent are rooted in racism and therefore problematic,” Pels wrote. “Unequivocally, the White Lives Matter movement does not reflect the values of the Cosmo brand. We stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter, and any cause that fights to end injustices for people of color.”
The editor noted that the original cover from The Bachelor shoot had already been printed as an inset in the March issue of Cosmopolitan, so Fuller won’t be totally cut out. She also appears in photos that accompany the publication’s interview with Peter Weber, this season’s star.
Fuller addressed the controversial marlin pictures in early January via Instagram comments after a Bachelor fan page revealed them in a post.
“It would be nice for you to gather all facts before jumping to bash someone,” Fuller wrote. “The company ‘We Love Marlins’ is in support of catching white, blue, and black marlins and releasing them back into the wild. In regards to a sensitive topic, I come from a very diverse background and am in support of all races!”
When somebody responded that the phrase “white lives matter” is still rooted in racism, the bachelor contestant apologized.
“I’m sorry if you or anyone else’s feelings were hurt. That was never my intention,” she said.
“I definitely see how this could be offensive,” she added in another comment. “I apologize immensely it was never my intention to lessen this matter.”
Fuller has not yet directly addressed Pels’ letter or the decision to scrap her cover.
Conservatives Slam Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion Over “WAP” Lyrics
- Cardi B released her new song “WAP,” featuring Megan Thee Stallion, which has prompted a mix of reactions online.
- Some conservatives said the song’s explicit sexual nature sets women back, encourages promiscuity, and is degrading. James P. Bradley, a Republican running for a Congressional seat in California, said it “made me want to pour holy water in my ears.”
- Fans defended the song as empowering and argued that women should not be shamed for talking about or enjoying sex, especially since men in the industry make similar music without the same level of backlash.
- Others were frustrated that Kylie Jenner was featured in the music video, which prompted over 65,000 people to sign a petition asking for her cameo to be removed.
Rapper Cardi B released a new song and music video with Megan Thee Stallion on Friday that took the internet by storm.
The song is called “WAP,” which stands for – well, if you know you know– and it’s already amassed over 59 million views on YouTube as of Monday morning. It’s no secret that the song is explicit and if you’ve spent any time on the internet this weekend, you’ve probably seen a huge range of reactions to it.
Criticism Over Explicit Lyrics
Some were quick to slam the song for its sexual nature. For instance, James P. Bradley, a Republican running for a Congressional seat in California, tweeted: “Cardi B & Megan Thee Stallion are what happens when children are raised without God and without a strong father figure. Their new “song” The #WAP (which i heard accidentally) made me want to pour holy water in my ears and I feel sorry for future girls if this is their role model!.”
DeAnna Lorraine, another Republican and former congressional candidate from California made similar remarks, tweeting: “Cardi B & Megan Thee Stallion just set the entire female gender back by 100 years with their disgusting & vile “WAP” song.”
She even pointed to specific lyrics she took issue with and claimed the song should be banned.
Still, Bradley and Lorraine weren’t alone. Other politicians made similar remarks about the song being degrading and encouraging promiscuity.
All the comments were met with backlash for several reasons, but in general, many pointed to double standards in the music industry since men often sexualize women without the same level of criticism. Others said the song is empowering and that women shouldn’t be shamed for talking about or enjoying sex.
Cardi B, for her part, seems to be enjoying the outrage. She responded to news of conservatives wanting her song banned by saying, “THIS IS KINDA ICONIC AND IM LIVING FOR IT.”
In fact, Cardi and others have even been making jokes about the explicit nature of the song. When Charlemagne tha God pretended to be offended by the lyrics, Cardi issued an “apology” to “all ass eaters.”
“We didn’t want to offend any ass eaters around the world especially offending ya by calling ya a derogatory word such as ‘bottom feeder.’ This have tough us a lesson and we will never do it again,” she teased.
For the most part, however, it seems like many have been loving the song and supporting the two rappers, and all of the outrage over the lyrics has actually just inspired a slew of memes and joking responses.
For example, one user told Lorraine, “If you don’t got that gorilla grip just say dat.”
Meanwhile, music critic Anthony Fantano said, “if you hate WAP, you’re bad at f–king.”
Outrage Over Kylie Jenner
The lyrics weren’t the only reason the rappers faced backlash this weekend. Many were also frustrated by the fact that Kylie Jenner made a cameo appearance in the music video.
At one point in it, the music stops as Jenner walks down a hallway and opens a door. However, she wasn’t the only star who made an appearance. Near the end, artists like Normani, Rosalía, Mulatto, Sukihana, and Rubi Rose were featured, with Normani, in particular, having a dance number.
Still, many felt that Jenner was given too much screen time in comparison or shouldn’t have been included at all. There’s even a change.org petition to have her cameo cut from the video that has over 65,000 signatures.
One user also shared her frustrations about Jenner’s appearance online, writing, “Normani did ALL this and Kylie walked down the hall and opened a door. If that’s not a perfect visual indication of Black women having to do the most and white women do the bare minimum work to get somewhere, I don’t know what it.”
However, Cardi B responded to that post in a series of now-deleted tweets. “Normani is one of the best female artists that dances Like she dances her fuckin ass off!” Cardi wrote. “Why would she open a door? Please tell me how that would make sense? The best of the song is the beat and hook it makes you want to shake your ass.”
She also added, “Not everything is about race,” saying that there are other issues in the world that are, which she speaks on.
Finally, she added, “why did i put Kylie on my music video? She treated my sister and daughter so lovely at her kid bday party. Travis and Set are real close and Kris Jenner have giving [sic] me advice on certain things I ask for and her husband real cool with mine.”
Cardi also agreed with another person’s tweet, which said Normal danced because that is her talent, and Kylie “strutted like a model,” because that’s hers.
Still, others noted that whether you like Jenner or not, her presence got more people talking about the video, which likely brought in even more views as people became curious to see what all the outrage was about.
See what others are saying: (Metro UK) (Junkee) (EOnline)
Twin YouTube Stars Charged With Felonies After Fake Bank Robbery Video
- The Stokes Twins, who have 25 million TikTok followers and 4.8 million YouTuber subscribers, were charged with false imprisonment and swatting on Wednesday in connection to a fake bank robbery prank video they filmed in October 2019.
- In the video, they run around the Irvine, California area dressed in all black, with ski masks and duffle bags full of cash to make it seem like they had just committed a crime.
- The prank resulted in their Uber driver being held at gunpoint by police, who authorities later learned was not involved. Even after police issued the duo a warning, they continued to carry out their prank on the UC Irvine campus.
- Each face a maximum sentence of four years in state prison if convicted on all counts.
Stoke Twins in Trouble
A pair of brothers known online as the Stokes Twins are in serious legal trouble over a fake bank robbery prank video they uploaded to their YouTube channel last year.
The brothers are 23-year-old Alan and Alex Stokes, and they have 4.8 million followers on YouTube, where they post challenge videos, pranks, and other content. They also have over 25 million followers on their joint TikTok account.
On Wednesday the Orange County District Attorney’s office in California announced that they had each been charged in connection with their robbery prank.
The DA’s office said the video at the center of this case was filmed on October 15, 2019. However, in the video, the twins say it was filmed over the course of three days. According to The Hollywood Reporter, it had more than 1.4 million views before it was set to private sometime yesterday. Still, reuploads of the prank have already been posted and shared, along with more details about what happened when it was filmed thanks to a press release from the DA’s office.
What Happens in the Prank Video?
In the video, the pair dresses up in all black with ski masks and duffle bags full of cash to make those around them believe they have just committed a crime. Much of the video is filmed in the Irvine area and UC Irvine campus, where the two run around to catch people’s attention, sometimes tripping and spilling cash onto the ground.
In some parts of the video, they approach strangers and ask for directions to the nearest bank. “Do you know how tight their security is?” one brother says after getting directions from a group of students. “I’m just going to make a large withdrawal if you know what I mean.”
A short time later, they return to anyone they previously approached and offer them money for their help. “Hey man, I just wanted to give you this cause I would have never gotten this without your help,” one brother says.
At other points, they ask people if they can buy their clothes off of them and approach women to ask them out on dates, showing off their bags of cash. They even ask some women to help them commit their fake crimes.
“So I’m actually trying to rob a bank and I’m looking for an attractive female to distract the security guards. Would you be down to do that?” they ask.
The video ends with extra footage from these encounters, where the two explain that it was all a prank and people admit that they saw the cameraman or suspected it was a joke.
Stunt With Uber Driver Goes Wrong
Still, there were some people who didn’t think it was a joke at all. At one point in the video, the twins get into an Uber and the driver quickly becomes uncomfortable by the situation they’ve put him in.
“What is this?” the driver asks. “Uh, our getaway driver just bailed on us so uh,” one twin says.
“We’re going to like a costume party…Could you step on it? Like step on the gas,” they add.
“This is weird. It’s not funny. Okay, I can’t just take this ride. Just get out of my car please.” the driver tells the twins.
According to the DA’s office, a bystander saw this exchange and believed they were attempting to carjack the driver, so they called the police. When authorities responded, they ordered the driver out of the car at gunpoint. He was ultimately released after they determined that he was not involved.
Police also issued a warning to the brothers at that time about how dangerous their conduct was and let them go, which the twins actually include in the video.
When the brothers explain that its a prank, one officer says, “A public prank that gets about 15 police officers in the area hauling butt over here cause you guys are pulling off masks.“
One of the twins explains that he called the non-emergency police number and notified them of the days they would be filming their video. The officer responds with, “This is what’s going to get someone potentially gunstuck or someone hurt. We have people stopping the middle of the street because they’re watching this, guys pulling up ski masks, throwing stuff of the ground, changing clothes.”
One of the brothers explains that most people were laughing and he didn’t expect this to happen, seeming to admit that they took it too far. The officers continue to try to explain the seriousness of the situation to them, with one saying, “Dude, this about what’s going on nowadays. Think about it man you’ve got to be smarter than that.”
“You know better…I want you guys to be creative and do what you want to do, but you’ve got to be smarter than this. What do you think people are going to do? Right, and you’ve lucky you didn’t get any guns drawn at you. You’re absolutely lucky you didn’t get any guns drawn at you.”
The officers remain calm, warning them to be careful and advising them to maybe rent a space or a controlled area for future videos instead. Because the brothers placed this at the end of the video, you might believe that maybe the twins realized what they did wrong and were learning from their mistake.
However, according to the press release, the brothers performed the prank on the University campus four hours after police initially spoke to them.
In fact, they even laugh about how they’ve had the police call on them throughout the day when talking to others that they pranked on campus.
They tell one group of students about the incident with the Uber driver adding, “The Uber driver kicked us out of the car. One minute later, there were like 10 cop cars that pulled out guns on him. They were like rifles. They thought he was the getaway driver guns so they had like 15 guns put up. He’s like ‘I’m not even a part of this.’ So yeah, poor guy.”
What Were They Charged With?
The brothers have each been charged with one felony count of false imprisonment affected by violence, menace, fraud, or deceit, and one misdemeanor count of falsely reporting an emergency, which is often referred to as swatting. They both face a maximum sentence of four years in state prison if convicted on all counts.
When announcing the charges, D.A. Todd Spitzer condemned their actions, saying in a statement, “These were not pranks.”
“These are crimes that could have resulted in someone getting seriously injured or even killed. Law enforcement officers are sworn to protect the public and when someone calls 911 to report an active bank robbery they are going to respond to protect lives. Instead, what they found was some kind of twisted attempt to gain more popularity on the internet by unnecessarily putting members of the public and police officers in danger.”
The brothers have no made any public comments about the charges as of now.
See what others are saying: (The Verge) (The Hollywood Reporter) (CNN)
Katy Perry and Portia de Rossi Share Support for Ellen
- Ellen DeGeneres received words of support from her wife Portia de Rossi, singer Katy Perry, and others following accusations that her the workplace behind the scenes of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” is toxic.
- Several reports indicated that DeGeneres might be departing from her show, but NBC News confirmed Tuesday that she is staying for an 18th season.
- The allegations against top staffers on the show include bullying, racism, and sexual harassment.
- WarnerMedia is conducting an investigation into the workplace, and DeGeneres said she is committed to making changes going forward.
Stars Defend Ellen
Rumors have been swirling that Ellen DeGeneres might be leaving her post as the host of her own talk show following allegations of a toxic workplace behind the scenes. However, those rumors were quelled on Tuesday morning, and celebrities began to speak up in support of the daytime host.
Pop star Katy Perry tweeted support for DeGeneres, saying she has “only ever had positive takeaways” from her encounters with her. Perry also praised DeGeneres for the strides she has made when it comes to representation and equality on television and elsewhere.
On Monday, DeGeneres’ wife, actress Portia de Rossi, shared an Instagram photo that said “I Stand By Ellen.”
Country singer Brandi Carlile responded to the post, calling the attacks against DeGeneres “unprecedented.”
“Ellen has made my life so much easier for me and other LGBTQ people,” she commented. “I’ll never stop being grateful for that.”
Some Speak Out Against Ellen
Other stars have been quicker to condemn Degeneres. Brad Garrett, best known for his role on “Everybody Loves Raymond,” said these issues are well known and start at the top.
“Know more than one who were treated horribly by her. Common knowledge,” he tweeted.
“Back to the Future” actress Lea Thompson replied to an article sharing Garrett’s statement and said it was true.
Twitter has also been quick to punish DeGeneres. Several reports indicated that she was leaving and speculated that James Corden might be her replacement. On Monday, #ReplaceEllen was a trending topic where users suggested personalities that they believe should step into DeGeneres’ shoes.
The reports suggesting she is leaving the show have been disproven. On Tuesday, NBC News confirmed that DeGeneres would be staying on for an 18th season.
What Are the Accusations?
The accusations against DeGeneres and her staff are serious. Some former staffers say that producers use intimidation and fear tactics on set every day. Others say they have faced racism. WarnerMedia is conducting an investigation into the matter. DeGeneres herself released a statement on Thursday addressing her staff.
“On day one of our show, I told everyone in our first meeting that ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ would be a place of happiness — no one would ever raise their voice, and everyone would be treated with respect,” she wrote. “Obviously, something changed, and I am disappointed to learn that this has not been the case. I could not have the success I’ve had without all of your contributions. My name is on the show and everything we do and I take responsibility for that.”
Following her response, more allegations were shot at leaders of the show. BuzzFeed News published a scathing piece accusing three of the show’s top staffers of sexual assault and harassment, including head writer and executive producer Kevin Leman. One ex-employee said Leman asked him if he could give him a handjob or perform oral sex while at a company party. Another said they saw Leman grab a production assistant’s penis.
Almost a dozen also said it was common for him to make inappropriate sexual comments and jokes. Leman told BuzzFeed that these allegations and their article were malicious and misleading.
Executive producer Ed Glavin was also accused of inappropriately touching women, and allegedly “had a reputation for being handsy with women.” 47 former employees also told BuzzFeed that he led with intimidation and fear on a daily basis. Prior to BuzzFeed‘s publication, several reports indicated that as a result of WarnerMedia’s investigation, Glavin could be departing the show.
Co-executive producer Jonathan Norman was accused of grooming a former employee by taking him to concerts and giving him other perks. That employee alleges that one night, Norman attempted to perform oral sex on them. This was corroborated by three former employees. Norman also denied this to BuzzFeed, claiming that the accusations come from someone with ulterior motives.
It is not clear what other actions will be taken as a result of these accusations.