- #DojaCatIsOverParty trended on Twitter over the weekend as circulating clips appeared to show the singer visiting allegedly racist chat rooms.
- Twitter users accused Doja Cat of being anti-black and also resurfaced an old song of hers called “Dindu Nuffin,” which is a racist slur used to belittle black victims of police brutality.
- She responded on Instagram Sunday, saying that while she was in chat rooms she should not have been in, she was never part of any racist dialogue.
- Doja Cat also claimed that she wrote the controversial song about her own personal experiences in an attempt to reclaim the phrase but understands now that she should not have used the term in her music.
- After fans said they did not find her apology to be sincere, she explained her side of the story again on an Instagram Live.
Doja Cat Apologizes
Singer Doja Cat apologized after videos of her in allegedly racist chat rooms circulated on Twitter, prompting #DojaCatIsOverParty to trend throughout the weekend.
The clips of Amalaratna Zandile Dlamini, better known as Doja Cat, first made their way onto Twitter on Friday. Fans say those chat rooms were for white supremacists, and that while in those rooms Doja Cat said the n-word, joked along with racist behavior, and made anti-black sentiments.
In addition to fans sharing those videos, many also talked about an old song Doja Cat wrote in 2015 called “Dindu Nuffin.” That phrase is a racial slur used to belittle black victims of police brutality. Doja Cat first issued her apology on Sunday night on Instagram.
“I’ve used public chat rooms to socialize since I was a child,” she wrote in the post. “I shouldn’t have been on some of those chat room sites, but I personally have never been involved in any racist conversations. I’m sorry to everyone that I offended.”
The singer also added that half of her family is from South Africa and that she is proud of where she comes from. She also addressed the controversial song, which some people claimed was written in response to the death of Sandra Bland. Doja Cat, however, said it was actually written with the intent to reclaim the phrase based on her relationship with it.
“It was in no way tied to anything outside of my own personal experience,” she explained. “It was written in response to people who often used that term to hurt me. I made an attempt to flip its meaning, but recognize that it was a bad decision to use the term in my music.”
“I understand my influence and impact and I’m taking this all very seriously,” she added.
Doja’s Instagram Live
After receiving backlash for that apology, with some finding it insincere, Doja Cat did an Instagram Live to further address the concerns. She admitted that her post, like many public apologies, was carefully crafted by her and her team. She went live so she could clear the air in her own words in real time.
During the livestream, she showed that she had actually pre-recorded a bunch of apologies to share, but ultimately decided not to post them because they were obviously too diplomatic and did not feel genuine.
She first addressed accusations of self-hate. She claimed that yes, sometimes she has been frustrated with her physical appearance, like her hair, but that does not mean she hates herself. She said she loves herself and everything about her, and regrets ever sharing negative thoughts on social media.
She then addressed her controversial old song, and the term she used in it.
“It shouldn’t be used. Period,” she said. ” I’m going to start with, I’m very sorry to anybody who has taken offense, to anybody who I have hurt, who I have hurt using this term.”
She also said she thinks that at its core, it is just a very bad song. She denied that the song was in any way related to Sandra Bland.
Doja Cat next addressed what happened in those chat rooms, which she claims were in no way for white supremacists.
“There are racist people who come in and out of the chat. They’re there. They happen and then they’re banned,” she explained.
Doja Cat said that like anywhere on the internet, racist people pop in and cause problems, and that maybe on TinyChat, it’s more common because there is less regulation. She claimed that as a mod herself, she has kicked people promoting this behavior out of chats. She maintained the chats she was in were not for white supremacists.
Regarding her use of the n-word in one of the videos, Doja Cat said she was drunk and not thinking at all. She said it had nothing to do with race-play, like some people had suggested. She also called out people who said she only dates white men, explaining that who she is attracted to and who she dates is none of their business.
She closed her video by telling her fans she loved them and apologizing to them once more.
“I’m not perfect. But at the end of the day, I shouldn’t be doing dumb shit,” she said.
Old Clips Resurface
The clips that allegedly show Doja Cat in what many initially deemed racist chat rooms have been shared by multiple users and were a discussion thread on the messaging platform Lipstick Alley. Though that thread has now been deleted, one person wrote Doja Cat would joke along as people in the rooms made racist remarks.
Some videos just show her in the chat room, surrounded mainly by white men. In many, she talks about sexual acts. In one, she says the n-word. Many of the people in the room laugh in response. Some users said she stripped during these chats in front of allegedly racist men.
People on Twitter also accused Doja Cat of being anti-black. Some made claims that the singer only dates white men. Others pointed to a tweet Doja Cat has deleted that said “thinking about being Black can make any sensible person depressed.”
“Like just think about it wouldn’t being White make soo much more sense,” the tweet continued. “Life would have value.”
Because of this, many called out the singer’s behavior, saying things like, “that girl needs help.”
Many were not pleased with her first apology, which is likely what prompted the second. #OnlyKlans became a top trending topic on Monday morning, with many using it to further call out Doja Cat’s past actions.
“Define ‘taking seriously’ @DojaCat,” another Twitter user wrote. “typing up a few words is not a sincere apology… Stop hiding behind a fucking screen.”
See what others are saying: (Complex) (Vulture) (The Independent)
Netflix Reinstates Employee Who Crashed Director-Level Meeting After Criticizing Dave Chapelle
Terra Field had publicly accused Chappelle of making transphobic remarks in his new stand-up special “The Closer” just days before she was suspended.
Netflix Reinstates Terra Field
Netflix reinstated a transgender employee who was critical of Dave Chappelle’s new stand-up special after suspending her for attending a director-level meeting without an invitation.
Terra Field tweeted on Tuesday that she was reinstated once the company determined “there was no ill-intent in” her decision to attend the meeting.
“I’m going to take a few days off to decompress and try to figure out where I’m at,” she added. “At the very least, I feel vindicated.”
Field also shared an email Netflix sent her regarding her suspension being lifted.
“Our investigation did not find that you joined the QBR meeting with any ill intent and that you genuinely didn’t think there was anything wrong with seeking access to this meeting,” the email said. “Additionally, when a Director shared the link it further supported that this was a meeting you could attend.”
Field’s suspension came just days after she tweeted a viral thread criticizing Chappelle’s latest program on Netflix, “The Closer.” She was one of many activists who claimed Chappelle’s set was transphobic and encouraged Netflix to take action. Field wrote that his comments attacked “the very validity of transness.” Netflix insisted those tweets had nothing to do with her suspension.
Field reportedly attended the director-level meeting with two other employees who were also suspended. A spokesperson for Netflix told Deadline that those two staffers have likewise been reinstated and the company “will be distributing broader guidance about meetings and clarifying which are for which people.”
Netflix’s Response to Dave Chappelle Controversy
Netflix, for its part, has defended Chappelle and rejected calls to remove “The Closer” from the streaming service.
“It never feels good when people are hurting, especially our colleagues,” Netflix co-CEO Ted Srandos wrote in an internal memo. “You should also be aware that some talent may join third parties in asking us to remove the show in the coming days, which we are not going to do.”
“We don’t allow titles on Netflix that are designed to incite hate or violence, and we don’t believe The Closer crosses that line,” he added. “I recognize, however, that distinguishing between commentary and harm is hard, especially with stand-up comedy which exists to push boundaries. Some people find the art of stand-up to be mean spirited but our members enjoy it, and it’s an important part of our content offering.”
Among other things, Chappelle took time in his special to defend author J.K. Rowling, who previously faced backlash over a series of transphobic remarks she made. Chappelle said he agreed with Rowling.
“I’m team TERF,” he added. “I agree. I agree, man. Gender is a fact.”
Chappelle went on to make jokes about Caitlyn Jenner before comparing the genitalia of transgender women to Beyond and Impossible meat.
Many employees at Netflix are still frustrated with the way the platform has handled the controversy surrounding “The Closer.” According to The Verge, a trans employee resource group is planning a walkout on Oct. 20.
“Trans Lives Matter. Trans Rights Matter,” the group said in a memo. “And as an organization, Netflix has continually failed to show deep care in our mission to Entertain the World by repeatedly releasing content that harms the Trans community and continually failing to create content that represents and uplifts Trans content. We can and must do better!”
See what others are saying: (The Verge) (Deadline) (The New York Times)
Lil Nas X and Bella Poarch May Have Abandoned Plans To Participate In TikTok NFT Program
Lil Nas X’s TikTok NFT was scheduled to debut a week ago and is still not available to the public.
Creators Allegedly Leave TikTok’s NFT Program
Musicians Lil Nas X and Bella Poarch may have quietly exited TikTok’s new NFT collection, according to a report from Rolling Stone.
TikTok first announced the line, which is called “TikTok Top Moments,” at the end of September. It involves a series of creator-led NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, which are unique and tradeable digital assets. TikTok’s NFTs can be purchased with the cryptocurrency Ethereum. According to a press release, the money will “largely go directly to the creators and NFT artists involved.”
TikTok said that creators like Poarch, Lil Nas X, Grimes, Curtis Roach, Brittany Broski, and more would be participating in the program. The company called NFTs an “empowerment tool” that will allow these creators to “be recognized and rewarded for their content.” It planned to debut the collection on Oct. 6 with Lil Nas X’s NFT, but that token has still not been made available. A source told Rolling Stone that it may never be released.
NFT Rollout Described as “A Mess”
The outlet also reported that Poarch is “actively contemplating pulling out of the program due to worries about its execution.” According to Rolling Stone, three sources familiar with the rollout of the program have described it as “a challenge,” “a mess,” and “a complete joke.”
Those sources claimed that in order to secure Poarch’s initial participation, TikTok offered her marketing support worth potentially $4 million for her next release. The company also allegedly promised to use one of her songs in an end-of-year campaign. A spokesperson for TikTok, however, described these claims as “not accurate.”
Neither Poarch nor Lil Nas X has commented on their participation yet. Meanwhile, TikTok declined to answer Rolling Stone’s questions about the status of their NFTs.
Some of TikTok’s announced NFTs have gone public, though. Throughout Tuesday, Roach’s “Bored in the House” video was up for auction on the platform Immutable.
NFTs took the internet by storm in early 2021, but their popularity peaked in May and declined throughout the summer. Celebrities, tech moguls, and everyday people featured in viral memes have hopped on the trend and made millions doing so.
According to Rolling Stone, TikTok has valued some of its own NFTs at $1 million. Now, it’s unclear if those tokens will ever hit the market.
See what others are saying: (Rolling Stone) (Dexerto)
Ariana Grande, Bella Hadid, and Others Honor World Mental Health Day
A slew of stars acknowledged the day by sharing personal stories and making hefty donations to organizations that offer mental health resources.
Celebrities Donate to Mental Health Organizations
Major celebrities honored World Mental Health Day on Sunday by speaking candidly about their mental health struggles and donating to nonprofits.
Singer Ariana Grande announced that she is donating $5 million worth of free therapy through the online counseling platform Better Help. The star previously partnered with the company over the summer to give $1 million in therapy to fans and opted to throw more money at the program following its success.
“I acknowledge that there are very real barriers when it comes to accessing mental health resources, and while this is only one small gesture (and a much larger systemic problem remains) I wanted to do this again with @betterhelp in hopes of bringing access to a few more people and perhaps inspiring a few of you to try something new and prioritize your own healing,” Grande wrote on Instagram.
Those interested can sign up for a free first month of Better Help and get an additional 15% off the second month.
Model Bella Hadid also pledged to donate to mental health resources. She teamed up with the beverage company Kin Euphorics, which will donate 10% of its October sales to Gurls Talk, a nonprofit that gives adolescent girls a space to talk about mental health, along with various educational tools to aid those discussions. Hadid will match those donations.
“Dealing with mental illness for most of my life, bringing awareness to the education of mental health through my platform is something that I will continue to do until our mental is just as respected as our physical,” Hadid wrote. “I want everyone who struggles daily to know that you are not alone.”
Stars Share Resources and Personal Stories
Meanwhile, actress and singer Selena Gomez used her new makeup brand Rare Beauty to share statistics about the prevalence of mental illness and the efforts to combat it. The company, which has previously focused on several mental health initiatives, shared that just 1.3% of philanthropic investments go towards supporting mental health.
The company additionally cited information from an American Psychological Association report, which revealed that young people are particularly vulnerable to mental health struggles. It found that seven out of 10 Gen Z adults are more likely to report experiencing depression symptoms compared to other generations.
Gomez shared Rare Beauty’s post to her own story as well.
Singer Olivia Rodrigo similarly opened up about mental health and therapy during an interview with CBS that aired Sunday. In it, she said she has been in therapy since she was 16, which she believes has helped her both personally and professionally.
“That was a really big, life-changing moment,” she said. “I’ve learned so much about myself.”
“I think there’s sometimes a stigma around it, too, like I was saying,” the singer continued. “Sometimes people are like, ‘Oh, you don’t need that. You have so much. Your life is so great. What are your problems?’ I think that’s definitely a thing that sometimes older people can do to younger people to kind of trivialize what they’re going through.”