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Kendall Jenner Agrees to Pay $90K Settlement for Promoting Fyre Festival

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Photo by Taylor Hill

  • Kendall Jenner will pay $90,000 for her part in promoting the failed Fyre Festival in 2017.
  • According to the lawsuit filed against her, she was paid $275,000 for an Instagram post, which was not properly labeled as a promotion and intentionally led people to believe Kanye West would be a festival performer. 
  • The incident highlights just how influential the Kardashian/Jenner family is, especially on Instagram where they earn some of the highest amounts for sponsored posts. 

Kendall’s Role in the Fyre Festival 

Kendall Jenner has agreed to settle a lawsuit levied against her for her part in promoting the 2017 Fyre Festival.

That event, as you probably know by now, is notorious for being a total disaster. It promised a glamorous weekend in the Bahamas, calling it the “cultural experience of the decade.” Ticket packages ranged from $1,200 to over $100,000 and were supposed to give guests access to luxurious accommodations, gourmet food, and musical performances by acts like Migos and Blink 182.

Of course, none of that actually happened, and what we actually saw were stranded festival-goers eating sad cheese sandwiches in FEMA tents. 

Anyway, as far as how Jenner is related to all of this, she was actually one of the biggest names promoting the event on social media. Then, in August of 2019, she was sued in New York’s U.S. Bankruptcy Court by Gregory Messer — the trustee recovering money and assets for creditors who did business with the festival.

According to court documents, Jenner was paid $275,000 to post about the festival on her Instagram in January of 2017. That since-deleted post was captioned: “So hyped to announced my G.O.O.D. Music Family as the first headliners for @fyrefestival…Use my promo code KJONFYRE for the next 24 hours to get on the list for the artists and talents afterparty on Fyre Cay.”

Kendall Jenner’s deleted Instagram post from 2017

The Settlement 

The lawsuit accused Jenner of intentionally leading the public to believe that Kanye West, who founded the G.O.O.D. music label, was set to perform at the event. “This conduct demonstrates a clear lack of good faith on Jenner’s part,” the suit stated. 

It also noted that she did not properly specify that her post was a paid promotion, which caused her to receive a warning from the Federal Trade Commission. 

Now, as part of a settlement agreement, Jenner will pay $90,000 for her role in promoting the event, less than half of what she earned for the post itself. She hasn’t made an official statement about the settlement, but she did talk about her involvement with the event in March of last year.

In an interview with The New York Times, she said: “You get reached out to by people to, whether it be to promote or help or whatever, and you never know how these things are going to turn out, sometimes it’s a risk.”

“I definitely do as much research as I can, but sometimes there isn’t much research you can do because it’s a starting brand and you kind of have to have faith in it and hope it will work out the way people say it will.” 

Jenner isn’t the only one who was hit with a lawsuit for connections to the festival. Claims were also filed against celebrities like Emily Ratajkowski, Migo, Pusha T, Blink-182, and Lil Yatchy.

As far as the brains behind the whole operation, Fyre Media founder Billy McFarland is currently serving out a 6-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to wire fraud. He was also ordered to repay the $26 million he defrauded from investors.  

The Kardashian/ Jenner Influence 

The fact that Jenner was paid over a quarter-million dollars for a single Instagram post really highlights just how powerful the Kardashian/Jenner influence is. We see it all the time with their massively successful brands, but just to give you an understanding of how much their Instagram posts matter, take a look at Kylie Jenner’s recent influence on the sneaker market.

Footwear News reported that, the younger Jenner sister posted just four images to her Instagram this year that showed her wearing various pairs of Nike SB Dunks. According to the sneaker reseller Stockx, each time she wore a pair, the resale prices climbed by 30% to 50% while sales volume at least doubled, and in some cases, quadrupled.

Last weekend for instance, she posted a photo in a pair of sneakers that debuted in 2008. Those had been reselling for about $700, but prices rose to $1,100 about 48 hours after her post. On top of that, six pairs were sold within those same 48 hours, which is more sales than the sneaker had seen in the previous two months combined. 

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A post shared by Kylie 🤍 (@kyliejenner) on

The site believes the “speed and magnitude” of increased demand for shoes she wears is attributable to “her power as an influencer and market mover.”

To be fair, Kylie is the highest earner of her family at the moment. She also topped Hopper HQ’s Instagram Rich List last year, with the site estimating that a sponsored post from Kylie costs about $1.2 million. 

But her family members weren’t too far behind, with Kim Kardashian at the #3 spot, Kendall at #13, and Khloe Kardashian at #14. According to that site’s estimate, a sponsored post from Kendall, who was also the highest-paid model of 2018, would cost around $611,000. Though the prices are steep, it shows that the responses for each post must be high enough for brands to consider these sponsorships a profitable move. 

See what others are saying: (EOnline) (Fox Business) (Refinery 29)  

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Harvey Weinstein Reaches Tentative $19 Million Settlement in New York

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  • Disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein has reached a tentative $19 million settlement in New York that creates a compensation fund for his alleged victims. 
  • This comes after he was sentenced to 23 years in prison for rape charges. He is also awaiting trial for more sex crime charges in Los Angeles. 
  • While New York Attorney General Letitia James and several plaintiffs celebrated the settlement as a win for victims, not everyone is happy with it. 
  • Two attorneys representing six of Weinstein’s accusers think it does not go far enough because Weinstein is not required to accept responsibility or pay up himself.

Settlement Reached

A nearly $19 million tentative settlement has been reached between disgraced movie producer Harvey Weinstein and several of his accusers, according to New York’s Attorney General.

On Tuesday, the Attorney General’s office released a statement announcing the settlement, which will create an $18.87 million compensation fund for Weinstein’s victims if it is approved by bankruptcy and district courts. The release did not state specifically how many women would be accessing this fund, but reports indicate it will be split between dozens of women. Weinstein, who was sentenced to 23 years in prison for rape charges in March, had been accused of sexual misconduct by more than 80 women.

The settlement stems from two lawsuits. The first was a 2017 class-action suit brought forward on behalf of women who claim Weinstein sexually harassed or assaulted them. The second was filed in 2018 and alleges that Weinstein maintained a hostile work environment at the Weinstein Company. That lawsuit also claims that his brother, Robert Weinstein, aided in creating the degrading workplace. 

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the funding will break down into two different tiers. Women will be able to submit a form describing their experience with Weinstein and its effects. Tier 1 claimants will get between $7,500 and $150,000, while Tier 2 claimants will receive between $7,500 and $750,000. The settlement will also release women from their non-disclosure agreements with the Weinstein Company.

“For more than two years, my office has fought tirelessly in the pursuit of justice for the women whose lives were upended by Harvey Weinstein,” New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement. “This agreement is a win for every woman who has experienced sexual harassment, discrimination, intimidation, or retaliation by her employer.”

Plaintiffs Respond

As part of their two-year investigation, the Attorney General’s office has interviewed Weinstein Company employees, executives, and survivors of misconduct and assault at the hands of Weinstein. The lawsuits leading up to this settlement allege that he persistently sexually harassed and berated female employees. It also claims that some female employees were required to perform work while Weinstein was partially or fully naked and that he demanded or forced them to engage in unwanted sexual acts while he dangled the promise of career advancement. According to the suits, Robert Weinstein aided and abetted these actions by choosing to not investigate complaints into this behavior. 

“Harvey Weinstein left a trail of trauma that was crushing for many women. We had aspirations for careers in a business we truly loved, and Weinstein took that dream from us and much more,” said Louisette Geiss, who accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct in 2017. “I knew that I wasn’t alone, and by linking arms with survivors, we were able to fight for meaningful change in this groundbreaking case.”

Guess was one of the plaintiffs involved in this case. Caitlin Dulany, another plaintiff who also accused Weinstein of harassment, released her own statement following the news of the settlement as well. 

“Harvey avoided accountability for decades, and it was a powerful moment for us to band together and demand justice,” Delany said. “Knowing that we will help so many women who are long overdue for relief gives me hope that this settlement will continue to empower others to speak.”

Backlash Against Settlement

However, not everyone involved with this case was applauding the tentative settlement. Attorneys Douglas Wigdor and Kevin Mintzer, who represents six of Weinstein’s accusers, called it a “total sellout.”

“We are surprised that the Attorney General could somehow boast about a proposal that fails on so many different levels,” they said in a statement, obtained and published in full by the Hollywood Reporter. “While we do not begrudge any survivor who truly wants to participate in this deal, as we understand the proposed agreement, it is deeply unfair for many reasons.”

Wigdor and Mintzer listed numerous critiques of the settlement, including the fact that Weinstein is still accepting no responsibility for his actions, as well as the fact that he is not required to pay the settlement himself. The attorneys also claim that it puts up a roadblock for women who did not join the settlement because they will not be able to access a big chunk of money protected by insurance companies in the fund. They plan on objecting it in court. 

Throughout the onslaught of accusations against him, Weinstein has maintained his innocence. According to his lawyer, he plans on attempting to appeal criminal convictions against him, and defending himself in civil lawsuits. He is also facing multiple sex crime charges in Los Angeles County, where he plans on defending himself as well. 

It is unclear when his Los Angeles trial will begin because coronavirus has held up many aspects of court proceedings. 

See what others are saying: (Los Angeles Times) (Variety) (The Hollywood Reporter)

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Lili Reinhart Apologizes for Using Topless Photo to Demand Justice for Breonna Taylor

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  • After backlash, Lili Reinhart deleted a topless Instagram photo she posted with the caption, “Now that my sideboob has gotten your attention, Breonna Taylor’s murderers have not been arrested. Demand justice.”
  • Fans felt her post played into the trend of memeing or using Taylor’s name for a punchline, which many say disrespects and trivializes her story. 
  • Reinhart apologized, saying she never meant to come off as insensitive and is trying to learn and do better. 
  • While some responded with name-calling, others called it an opportunity to educate, noting that Reinhart has been amplifying Black voices and supporting the Black Lives Matter movement on Instagram. 

Reinhart Posts Topless Photo 

“Riverdale” star Lili Reinhart apologized Monday for the photo she chose to use when demanding justice for Breonna Taylor on Instagram.

Taylor was a 26-year-old Black woman who was killed by Louisville police on March 13. The night of her death, Taylor and her boyfriend were in bed when officers with a no-knock warrant began to force their way into their apartment. When her boyfriend fired his gun at who he believed were intruders, officers returned fired, striking Taylor at least eight times. 

In recent weeks, her name has been used as a rallying cry during Black Lives Matter protests, along with the names of other Black individuals who were unjustly killed by authorities like George Floyd, Eric Garner, and others. 

With Taylor’s case, in particular, people have continuously called for the officers involved to face charges. It seems like Reinhart tried to join in on those calls when she posted a photo of herself topless with the caption, “Now that my sideboob has gotten your attention, Breonna Taylor’s murderers have not been arrested. Demand justice.”

@lilireinhart

Photo Prompts Outrage for Memeing Taylor’s Name 

However, fans were quick to slam the actress for the post. “This is sick, why do she use Breonna Taylor’s name as an excuse to post her sexy pic? weird and gross,” one Twitter user wrote.

Another said, “The only thing that post did is get a bunch of people to talk about lili reinhart’s boobs. it was a thirst trap with a BLM caption. what are the odds that someone looks at a pic of lili’s boobs and says yas lemme demand justice!”

After likely seeing similar responses in the comments, Reinhart quickly deleted the caption but left the photo up. Doing so further caused people to question her intentions, with some saying this proved she was using Taylor’s name for a “quirky caption.”

Still, fans came to her defense, saying they didn’t see and issue with the post and that she was just trying to support the movement. 

Some noted that it’s very common online for people to post something that lures people in, only to redirect their focus towards real issues. 

However, in recent weeks, people have become increasingly worried that the Black Lives Matter movement is being treated as a trend for likes on social media. With Breonna Taylor’s case specifically, many have been especially frustrated that her name and phrases like “arrest the cops that killed Breonna Taylor” have become a meme or a punchline. 

Some use the phrase, or a variation of it, in tweets, while others edit the message into images.

This subject is actually something that has been a point of debate for a while now. For instance, musical artist Lil Nas X faced similar backlash in June when he posted a meme about arresting the officers in her case. 

That tweet began with, “yeah, i’m gay.” Then it continued, 

“g- arrest,

a- Breonna Taylor’s

y- murderers.”

Image
@LilNasX

After seeing some negative responses, he deleted the post and tweeted, “i want u guys to know if i make a meme out of something it doesn’t mean i don’t care about it, my following usually reacts the most when humour is involved. it’s my most efficient way of bringing awarness to anything. i do understand the backlash tho, and i’m learning.”

Like in Reinhart’s case, some felt his intentions were good and that this approach grabs people’s attention. However, the majority of people think these memes trivialize Taylor’s death and are asking that people respect her name and her story.

Reinhart Apologizes 

In response to all this frustration, Reinhart deleted the photo and took to Twitter on Monday to apologize. 

“I’ve always tried to use my platform for good. And speak up about things that are important to me,” she wrote.  “I also can admit when I make a mistake and I made a mistake with my caption. It was never my intent to insult anyone and I’m truly sorry to those that were offended.”

She then referenced some of her IGTV posts of conversations with Black entrepreneurs, writers, and activists.

@lilireinhart’s IGTV posts

“I’ve tried very hard to be honest on my IGTV lives that I’m still learning and trying to be better,” she wrote. “But I understand that my caption came off as tone deaf. I truly had good intentions and did not think it through that it could come off as insensitive.”

For the most part, fans seem glad that she admitted her mistake. While some people responded with name-calling, most argued that isn’t helpful, especially against someone who uses her platform to amplify Black voices and speak about the movement. 

Many are hoping that Reinhart’s case serves as a lesson to anyone who might be using Taylor’s name in a similar way on social media, and are using this as an opportunity to educate others. 

See what others are saying: (Fox News) (NBC News) (Nylon

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Smith Family Weighs in After Shane Dawson Apologizes for Racist Skits and Pedophilia Jokes

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  • YouTuber Shane Dawson apologized in a video Friday for a long history of racist jokes and caricatures, as well as for jokes he made about pedophilia.
  • “I don’t have hate in my heart for anyone, but it doesn’t make up for the fact that I made jokes about everyone,” he said. 
  • Following the release of that video, Jada Pinkett Smith and her son Jaden offered strong rebukes of the YouTuber, who once pretended to masturbate to a poster of an 11-year-old Willow Smith.

Smiths Rebuke Shane Dawson’s Apology

YouTuber Shane Dawson apologized Friday for a myriad of controversial remarks and actions over his 15-year career on the platform, but it seems like many weren’t ready to accept it.

In fact, some people are now resurfacing even more offensive moments from his past. Not lost among the critics are mother and son duo Jada Pinkett Smith and Jaden Smith. Their rebuke of his apology is especially notable because in one clip, Dawson simulates a sexual act to a poster of an 11-year-old Willow Smith.

“To Shane Dawson … I’m done with the excuses,” Jada Pinkett Smith said on Twitter. 

“SHANE DAWSON I AM DISGUSTED BY YOU,” her son wrote in all caps. “YOU SEXUALIZING AN 11 YEAR OLD GIRL WHO HAPPENS TO BE MY SISTER!!!!!!  IS THE FURTHEST THING FROM FUNNY AND NOT OKAY IN THE SLIGHTEST BIT.” 

Prior to his apology, Dawson was already facing a number of different scandals, including allegations of him sexualizing other children such as his cousin, a fan, and even a baby. Aside from accusations of pedophilia or pedophilic behavior, Dawson is also facing intense backlash for racist moments, including his repeated use of blackface and his use of the n-word.

Over the weekend, Dawson’s apology video—titled “Taking Accountability”—trended number one on YouTube. Since Friday, it’s garnered over 10.6 million views. 

In it, Dawson begins by saying that he hates much of his past and that he’s tried to remove himself from those situations by deleting old videos. 

Dawson also noted that this isn’t his first apology video. In fact, he issued an apology in 2014 for his use of blackface, and in 2018, he denied he was a pedophile after those rumors circulated following an edited clip where he joked that he found naked babies “sexy.”

“Those apologies suck,” he said of them. “I don’t know who that person is anymore. Every apology video I’ve ever made has been from fear. It’s me sitting at home thinking the whole world hates me, crying and hyperventilating and just turning on a webcam and just saying ‘I’m sorry’ and hoping people know I’m a good person and it’ll go away, and that is stupid. That is something that a child does.”

Dawson “Taking Accountability”

In his apology, Dawson first addressed his history of racism on YouTube, including a number of times where he played very stereotypical versions of Black, Asian, and Mexican people.

While he said he thought those skits were funny at the time of recording them, he said he now hates the person he was in the past.

“That person was filled with sadness, filled with anger about their own issues, in the closet, constantly projecting on others,” he said. “Just like, I don’t know, just that person is someone I don’t like seeing. And I think that’s why I’ve been avoiding this because I’m like, ‘No, I’ve already apologized. I don’t want to go back. I don’t want to see it again.”

Dawson then directly mentions his repeated use of blackface.

“I am so sorry,” he said. “I am so sorry to anybody that saw that and that also saw that people were lifting me up and were saying, ‘You’re so funny, Shane. Oh my, God, you’re so funny.’ I can’t even imagine what it would be like to be Black and to see this white fucking guy do blackface and the whole internet at that time being like, ‘LOL.’” 

“I should lose everything for that,” he continued. “I can tell you this. I don’t have hate for any race or any people with weight issues or any of that, special needs. I don’t have hate in my heart for anyone, but it doesn’t make up for the fact that I made jokes about everyone.” 

Dawson also addressed his use of the n-word, saying that at the time he justified using it because he was playing a character and it was in the name of comedy. In multiple videos, Dawson can be heard saying the word, including instances where he uses a “hard r.” In one video, he even coerces his young cousin to say the word. 

Dawson admitted in the nearly 21-minute video that he should have never used the n-word, adding that he thinks he should have lost his career for saying the word. 

He also addressed why he made yet another apology video, saying that his past apologies fell flat because he would take criticism as attacks on his character and would automatically jump on the “I’m not racist” card.

“And it’s like, you know, ‘Okay, but look what you’re making, Shane,’” he said. “Like I don’t know how I didn’t see that. That is scary, and I’m sorry.” 

Dawson promised his viewers that he’s changed since he made clips and videos like that, saying that he’s educated himself and that he stopped using racial slurs years ago.

Dawson Addresses Pedophilia Accusations

Dawson continues the video by then addressing a 2013 podcast clip where he compares pedophilia to being a normal fetish and talks about finding naked babies “sexy.” As Dawson has noted in the past, some of the clips circulating online omit lines where he says he is joking about those subjects.

“I shouldn’t have been joking about it anyways, which is my problem. My fault,” he said in rebuke of those jokes. 

Shane also apologized for that video he made with his then 12- or 13-year-old cousin, where he talks about sexual acts around her in an inappropriate way. In that apology, he said he also apologized to her mother years ago.

I can’t believe I can’t believe I talked to, you know, my cousin like that,” he said. “And [my aunt] was like, ‘Oh my, God, we know. We know. It’s okay. It was funny, like we all thought it was funny, like that’s just how our family is’ So I kind of took it as, ‘Well, I don’t need to apologize for it,’ but I do.”

Dawson then went on to again talk about his personal life and a lot of the pain he saw in his childhood and with his family, saying that he was projecting that pain into wildly inappropriate jokes. 

“I swear on my life, I am not somebody who would ever talk about a child, like in seriousness, I would never talk about a child in any way that was inappropriate,” he said. “That is disgusting. That is gross. It is not something that I would ever do. It was something I did for shock value or because I thought it was funny or ‘Oh my, God, I’m a child molester character.’ Whatever. It’s all gross, and I promise that is not real. That is not me.” 

Dawson Debunks Rumors About Orchestrating the James and Tati Fued

Toward the end of the video, Dawson denies speculation that he was some sort of mastermind behind last year’s massive feud between Tati Westbrook and James Charles. 

Dawson previously denied that accusation in a now-deleted Twitter post earlier this month. In that note, he seemed to justify the barrage of criticism against James Charles, saying the then 19-year-old influencer deserved a slice of “humble pie.”

In fact, Dawson said he wrote that Twitter note after he started seeing narratives like that pop up and people pressuring him to respond. While he said he had tried to be funny in that note, he admitted that it came across very angry, notably because he said he was angry.

“So the part of the Twitter note that I regret more than anything in my life was the part where I said that James deserved a slice of humble pie the size of the Empire State building,” Dawson said.

He also said he wanted to come at this situation with love and started by apologizing.

“I’m sorry, James,” he said. “I’m really sorry. First of all, nobody deserves what happened. Nobody. The whole internet ganging-up on someone. Nobody deserved that. And who am I to say that somebody needs to be humble? Me? Like who am I to say that? I literally have put so much hate into the internet over my last 15 years of YouTube world.” 

He also addressed criticism that came after he said he was leaving the beauty community in that tweet. In his apology, he agrees that he was never really in it, as many have argued.

“So to know I hurt those people, who are problematic, and just love makeup, and who have been working their ass off for years, for me to shit on that, I am so sorry.” 

“I’m ready to own up to this stuff and to hopefully show you guys that it’s okay to admit when you’re wrong. It’s okay to be upset at your past self for making mistakes. But also it’s okay if people don’t want to accept your apology or if people don’t want to support you anymore, that’s okay too.”

Reaction to Dawson’s Apology

Reaction to Dawson’s apology has been mixed. Currently, about a third of the reactions on that video are dislikes.

In the comments, many criticized his apology, saying he was victimizing himself and using his past trauma to try to justify his actions. 

“Depression and anxiety isn’t a reason to sexualise children, Shane,” a number of people repeated in separate comments. 

On Twitter, hundreds of others shared this comment: “In Shane’s apology, he keeps saying things like “I would never do that” “that’s something I wouldn’t do in my whole lifetime” that is not me” “I wasn’t myself” when referencing things he ACTUALLY DID. He is not taking responsibility, he is removing himself from his past by creating two different Shane’s.”

Others, however, did strike more of a sympathetic tone.

“I’m honestly glad that he came out and apologized,” one person said in the comments section of his video. “Some of the stuff he talked about ppl won’t forgive him for, and that’s ok. I’m just glad he apologized.”

“Accepting his apology IS NOT excusing his actions,” another person said. “Some people need to realise this.”

Still, many others said Dawson would need to take even further action before he could find forgiveness.

“I think you’re trying to ‘do the right thing’ and honestly I’ll never say it’s too late but dude you can’t continue to call yourself Jeffree Star’s friend and be on the right side of all this drama, please understand that,” one person said.

See what others are saying: (The Hollywood Reporter) (Essence) (CNN)

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