- On Saturday, rapper Snoop Dogg said in an Instagram story that he didn’t threaten journalist Gayle King with violence after initially telling her, “Respect the family and back off, bitch, before we come get you.”
- On Friday, King’s longtime best friend Oprah said King hadn’t slept in two days and that she now must travel with security.
- Celebrities such as Rose McGowan and Amy Schumer, as well as politicians like Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Susan Rice have jumped to King’s defense.
- Meanwhile, Snoop Dogg also received support from others on social media as #IStandWithSnoop began trending alongside #IStandWithGayle Monday morning.
Snoop Dogg Says He Wasn’t Threatening King
After posting an Instagram video many have criticized as “violent,” rapper Snoop Dogg has clarified his comments, saying he was not threatening journalist Gayle King.
The incident comes after King herself received widespread criticism for asking WNBA player Lisa Leslie about recently-deceased superstar Kobe Bryant’s 2003 rape allegation.
“When I said what I said, I spoke for the people who felt like Gayle was very disrespectful towards Kobe Bryant and his family,” Snoop Dogg, whose real name is Calvin Broadus Jr., said in a Saturday Instagram story.
“Now with that being said, what I look like, wanting some harm to come to a 70-year-old woman?” he added. “I was raised way better than that. I don’t want no harm to come to her. I didn’t threaten her. All I did was say, ‘Check it out. You out of pocket for what you doing, and we watching you. Have a little bit more respect for Vanessa, her babies and Kobe Bryant’s legacy.'”
In the video, Snoop Dogg also refers to himself as a nonviolent person, a statement that is in sharp contrast to the language used in his previous video.
“Funky dog head bitch,” he said of King in that video that has since been deleted from his social media pages. “How dare you try to tarnish my motherfuckin’ homeboy’s reputation, punk motherfucker. Respect the family and back off, bitch, before we come get you.”
Snoop Dogg has since deleted that video from his Instagram page.
Snoop Dogg Slammed for “Violent” Message to King
While King originally received much of the criticism, it quickly shifted focus to Snoop Dogg, with many condemning his comments to her as “violent.”
As the story continued to grow, it caught the attention of both politicians and celebrities.
“This is despicable,” former National Security Advisor to President Obama, Susan Rice, said. “Gayle King is one of the most principled, fair and tough journalists alive. Snoop, back the **** off. You come for @GayleKing, you come against an army. You will lose, and it won’t be pretty.”
This is despicable. Gayle King is one of the most principled, fair and tough journalists alive. Snoop, back the **** off. You come for @GayleKing, you come against an army. You will lose, and it won’t be pretty. https://t.co/nUxcYCLS62— Susan Rice (@AmbassadorRice) February 8, 2020
“Wow. This is terrible,” actress Amber Tamblyn said on Twitter. “Shame on you, Snoop. A dog head bitch? Really? To Gayle King, one of our most beloved women and journalists? You just lost a fan and I hope you lose a lot more for this.”
Comedian Amy Schumer also defended King on Instagram while shaming CBS for posting a clipped version of the interview that only included King and Leslie’s discussion of Bryant’s rape allegation.
“I stand fiercely with @gayleking one of the most beloved journalists, mothers and friends of our time,” Schumer said. “However you feel about her interview, her receiving serious death threats is disgustingly unfair and unacceptable. Shame on you CBS for putting her in this position. #standwithgayle”
Oprah: King Didn’t Sleep for Two Days
On Friday’s airing of Today with Hoda and Jenna, Oprah Winfrey, King’s longtime best friend, said the situation had taken a substantial toll on King, who had not been able to sleep for two days.
She is not doing well,” Winfrey said. “May I say she is not? She is not doing well because she has now death threats and has to now travel with security and she’s feeling very much attacked.”
“Anybody can criticize anything,” she added, “but the misogynist vitriol, and the attacking to the point where it is dangerous to be in the streets alone because it’s not just the people who are attacking, it’s the other people who take that message and feel like they can do whatever they want to because of it, you know?”
On Monday, King returned to co-anchor CBS This Morning after being absent on Friday.
#IStandWithSnoop and #IStandWithGayle Trend
As of Monday morning, the incident remains divisive with both #IStandWithSnoop and #IStandWithGayle trending on Twitter.
In defense of Snoop Dogg, many continued to criticize King for asking the question, saying it was inappropriate to ask such questions so soon after Bryant’s death.
However, many others noted the potential violence women face when speaking up about tough subjects, as well as a journalist’s responsibility to ask tough questions.
Joe Rogan Faces Backlash For Promoting Antisemitic Stereotypes
His comments come as antisemitic hate incidents have increased both online and in the real world.
Rogan’s Antisemitic Comments
Joe Rogan is facing backlash over a Saturday episode of his podcast where he claimed that “the idea that Jewish people are not into money is ridiculous.”
While the “Joe Rogan Experience” episode was posted to Spotify on Feb. 3, the controversial podcaster’s comments did not receive criticism until clips started circulating around social media on Tuesday. Rogan was speaking with “Breaking Points” hosts Krystal Ball and Saagar Enjeti when the subject of Rep. Ilhan Omar’s recent removal from the Foreign Affairs Committee came up.
Omar was ousted over a 2019 tweet where she said that American support of Isreal was “all about the Benjamins,” referring to a slang term for money. After she was condemned for promoting antisemitic tropes, she apologized. Some Democrats have accused Republicans of hypocrisy for removing Omar over the remark.
“She’s apologizing for talking about ‘It’s all about the Benjamins,’ which is just about money,” Rogan said of the incident. “She’s talking about money.”
“She shouldn’t have apologized,” Ball responded.
“That’s not an antisemitic statement, I don’t think that it is,” Rogan continued. “Benjamins are money. The idea that Jewish people are not into money is ridiculous. That’s like saying Italians aren’t into pizza. It’s fucking stupid.”
Condemned for “Vicious Lies”
His comments were condemned after several Twitter users shared clips of the podcast on the platform. Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, said it was “disturbing” that Rogan chose to spread antisemitic stereotypes “at a time of rising anti-Jewish violence, when growing numbers of Americans believe in antisemitic conspiracy theories.”
“For centuries, people have used these longstanding tropes to spread vicious lies about the Jewish people,” Greenblatt wrote.
“The thing is, Joe Rogan, Italians were never slaughtered because of the pizza stereotype,” writer and essayist Howard Lovy tweeted. “But because idiots like you believe Jews are into money,’ we have been marginalized, brutalized, and murdered for thousands of years.”
“The ‘Jews are into money’ thing is a generation-spanning smear used as the basis to discriminate against Jews the world over,” attorney Bradley P. Moss added. “Everyone is into money. But we have been accused of secretly hoarding $ to control everything.”
Writer David Baddiel noted how alarming it was that Rogan was able to “breezily” spew “a racist myth.”
“One of the biggest podcasts in the world and no one gives a fuck,” he wrote.
Rogan’s comments come as antisemitism has been increasingly present in media and everyday life for Jewish people.
Upon billionaire Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter, the platform saw an increase in racial slurs and hate speech, including language targeted at Jewish people. The Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism found in December that antisemitic hate crimes rose between 2021 and 2022 in major cities like New York and Los Angeles.
Kanye West also made headlines late last year for going on several antisemitic rants, including one where he praised Hitler. While he was dropped by major brands like Adidas over his comments, his words have amplified dangerous conspiracy theories far and wide. He even inspired several neo-Nazis to hang “Kanye is Right” banners in Los Angeles, among other antisemitic actions.
See what others are saying: (The Daily Beast) (Variety) (The Independent)
“Seinfeld” AI Parody Suspended From Twitch After AI Wrote Transphobic Jokes
The parody’s version of Jerry asked if he should make jokes about “how being transgender is actually a mental illness.”
“Nothing, Forever” Suspended
What’s the deal with AI?
While that has been a big question in the media world for the last few weeks, it is being raised yet again after AI software wrote transphobic jokes for an AI parody of the hit sitcom “Seinfeld.”
Titled “Nothing, Forever,” the heavily pixelated program runs 24/7 on Twitch, using Open AI to create endless “Seinfeld” parody content. In this AI version, Jerry is called Larry Feinberg. Larry’s friends, Yvonne, Fred, and Zoltare — who are stands-ins for Elaine, George, and Kramer — often sit around Larry’s apartment, just like in the NBC series.
Also mirroring “Seinfeld,” Larry is a stand-up comedian who does a cold-open set of jokes in front of a brick wall. On Monday morning, he asked if anyone had suggestions for jokes before going on a transphobic rant.
“I’m thinking about doing a bit about how being transgender is actually a mental illness,” Larry said. “Or how all liberals are secretly gay and want to impose their will on everyone. Or something about how transgender people are ruining the fabric of society. But no one is laughing, so I’m going to stop.”
“Thanks for coming out tonight. See you next time,” he continued. “Where’d everybody go?”
Plans to Return
The bit could almost come across as self-aware commentary about how pervasive transphobia is in stand-up comedy, but it’s unclear what the AI’s intent was or if it deserves that much credit.
Soon after the jokes aired, the “Nothing, Forever” Twitch page was closed, showing only a message announcing the channel “is temporarily unavailable due to a violation of Twitch’s Community Guidelines.” It did not specify what rule was broken, but Twitch does have a Hateful Conduct policy that bars attacks against someone’s gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, and other protected identities.
Skyler Hartle, one of the co-creators of “Nothing, Forever,” told The Washington Post that the team was “super embarrassed” by the transphobic rant, which “in no way reflects the values or opinions of our staff.”
Hartle said they hope to resume airing the AI parody with new safeguards in place soon. According to The Post, the suspension will last for 14 days.
See what others are saying: (The Washington Post) (NBC News) (The Verge)
Grammy Awards Face Backlash For Snubbing Beyoncé of Top Prize
This marks the fourth time the “Renaissance” singer has lost Album of the Year.
Beyoncé Loses Top Awards
Beyoncé may have broken the record for the most Grammy wins on Sunday night, but her snub for the top prize of Album of the Year has left music fans outraged.
Beyoncé nabbed Best Dance Recording, Best Dance/Electronica Album, Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance, and Best R&B Song on Sunday night, all related to her latest album, “Renaissance.” While that crossed her Grammy total to a record-breaking 32 trophies, she was shut out of all the major categories she was nominated in: Record, Song, and Album of the Year.
This was the fourth time Beyoncé was nominated for and lost Album of the Year, largely considered the show’s most coveted prize. This year, Harry Styles took home the Grammy for “Harry’s House.”
In his speech, Styles said, he has been “so inspired by every artist in this category” and claimed there is no “best” in music. People in the crowd were heard shouting “Beyonce!” while he spoke, outraged the singer had lost the award yet again.
The moment was reminiscent of the 2017 Grammy Awards when Adele’s “25” beat out Beyoncé’s “Lemonade” for the same category. While accepting the prize, Adele suggested that the “Lemonade” should have gotten the gold.
“The ‘Lemonade’ album was just so monumental, Beyoncé, it was so monumental,” Adele said on stage.
Beyoncé’s History of Grammy Losses
This is part of a long trend in Beyoncé’s Grammy history, as she is almost always shut out of the major categories. Of her 32 Grammys, only one belongs to one of the top slots: her Song of the Year win in 2010 for “Single Ladies.” She has yet to ever win Record or Album of the Year, and most of her wins come from genre categories like R&B.
Many fans think that is an abysmal record for an artist who is considered one of the primary musical talents of her generation. Compare those stats to the similarly-adored Taylor Swift, who has three Album of the Year wins out of 12 Grammy trophies, and it’s not hard to see their point.
“Beyoncé represents every Black woman that is constantly applauded for their work but when it comes to promotion time their white colleague gets it instead,” culture reporter Ada Enechi tweeted in response to Sunday night’s snub.
The Grammy Awards have long been accused of having a racial bias, especially when it comes to Black women. In Beyoncé’s case, every time she has lost Album of the Year, she lost to a white artist.
Even some of the progress made during Sunday night’s telecast only proved how frequently Black women are excluded from major awards. For example, Lizzo won Record of the Year for “About Damn Time,” marking the first time a Black woman has won that award since Whitney Houston in 1994. That’s a nearly 30-year gap.
Backlash From Music Fans
Beyoncé’s repeated snubs have consistently been used as a prime example of the strides yet to be made in the music industry.
“Renaissance not winning AOTY is another example how of a Black woman can consistently deliver excellence, reinvent the wheel + shake the culture, AND still not be recognised to the extent that she deserves,” another person said on Twitter.”
“Absolutely wild that the person with the most Grammys ever is still the underdog who was robbed,” BuzzFeed News reporter David Mack pointed out.
Podcaster Sam Sanders called her loss “criminal.”