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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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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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Tiger Woods Recovering From Surgery After Serious Car Crash

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  • 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)

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Zendaya Says Criticism of “Malcolm & Marie” Stripped Her and Co-Star John David Washington of Their Agency

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  • 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)

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DaBaby Responds To Claims That He Dissed JoJo Siwa

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  • 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.

See what others are saying: (Entertainment Tonight) (Billboard) (People)

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