- #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)
Senators Introduce Legislation Requiring Radios to Pay Royalties to Artists
Sen. Padilla argued the bill is necessary to give artists the “dignity and respect they deserve.”
The American Music Fairness Act
Sens. Alex Padilla (D-CA) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) introduced the American Music Fairness Act to the Senate on Thursday, a bill that would require radio stations to pay royalties to performers and rights holders.
The bill was previously introduced to the House last year. According to a release, the United States is the only democratic country where artists are not compensated for their music’s use on AM or FM radio. While songwriters and publishers receive payment, these stations have never been required to give a slice of the pie to performers and copyright holders.
On streaming and satellite radio, however, both groups receive royalty payments.
In a statement, Padilla said it is time the country starts treating “our musical artists with the dignity and respect they deserve for the music they produce and we enjoy every day.”
“California’s artists have played a pivotal role in enriching and diversifying our country’s music scene,” he added. “That is why passing the American Music Fairness Act is so important.”
“From Beale Street to Music Row to the hills of East Tennessee, the Volunteer State’s songwriters have undeniably made their mark,” Blackburn echoed. “Tennessee’s creators deserve to be compensated for their work. This legislation will ensure that they receive fair payment and can keep the great hits coming.”
The American Music Fairness Act would require terrestrial radio broadcasters to pay royalties to music creators when their songs are played. It would also protect smaller stations that either make less than $1.5 million in annual revenue or who have a parent company that makes less than $10 million in annual revenue by letting them play unlimited music for under $500 a year.
The bill would also require other countries to pay American artists for the use of their work.
Support From Major Music Groups
The legislation is endorsed by a number of groups, including the Recording Academy, SAG-AFTRA, and the American Federation of Musicians.
If passed, the bill could move a lot of money into the pockets of performers. According to the Recording Academy, when American music gets international airplay, other countries collect royalties for American artists, amounting to around $200 million every year. However, they “never pay those royalties because the U.S. does not reciprocate with our own performance right.”
Fran Drescher, President of SAG-AFTRA, argues that the money belongs to the artists.
“Broadcast companies profit from advertising sales because of the creative content musicians and singers record. It stands to reason that the performers who create the content deserve to be compensated just as songwriters are now,” Drescher said in a statement. “The reason it’s called the American Music Fairness Act is because the current situation is wholly unfair and it’s up to Congress to make it fair NOW!”
Last year, Representatives Steve Womack (R-AR) and Kathy Castor (D-FL) introduced the Local Radio Freedom Act, a bill with essentially the opposite agenda. It aims to reserve radio’s royalty-free status. The American Music Fairness Act is being viewed as a counter-response to this bill.
Kanye West Says Catalog Is Potentially Being Sold Without His Permission: “Just Like Taylor Swift”
After Swift lost the rights to her life’s work, she took on the endeavor of re-recording her first six albums.
Kanye’s Catalog Potentially Up For Grabs
Following reports that Kanye West was considering selling his catalog, the artist took to Instagram on Tuesday to claim his work is potentially being sold without his approval.
On Monday, Billboard reported that West had been “quietly and intermittently shopping his publishing catalog.”
While the outlet’s sources did not reveal what price West was aiming for, Billboard estimated that West might be looking at a $175 million valuation for his discography. Some of Billboard’s sources seemingly suggested that West and his team were specifically behind the effort to sell his work, but others claimed the “catalog was never actively shopped” and instead, West had been receiving offers from potential buyers.
Not long after, several news outlets picked the story up and reported that West was gearing up to sell his catalog. West responded by writing on his Instagram story that this was not the case.
“Not For Sale”
“Just like Taylor Swift,” he said, referencing music mogul Scooter Braun purchasing Swift’s masters with Big Machine Records without her approval. “My publishing is being put up for my sale without my knowledge. Not for sale.”
Swift referred to the sale of her masters to Braun as her “worst case scenario.” In order to regain ownership of her work, she is in the process of re-recording her first six albums, all of which she originally made under Big Machine. Two have already been released and proved to be wildly commercially successful.
According to Forbes, it is unclear which of his albums West owns the masters to, if he owns any at all. Because of this, it is unknown what kind of position he would be put in if his catalog, which is currently managed by Sony, was sold.
The status of any potential for his work to be sold became foggier later on Tuesday when West shared screenshots of a text exchange he had. He asked an unidentified person what was happening with the catalog sale, and that person responded by calling it “fake news.”
“Of course every publisher wants to pitch [their] hardest buy, smh,” the text continued.
West did not further indicate if those texts were meant to clarify that his catalog was, in fact, not up for sale, or just further distance himself from any potential acquisition.
“Squid Game” Director Defends Reality Spinoff of Hit Series Amid Backlash
“When you take things too seriously, that’s really not the best way to go for the entertainment industry,” the Emmy-winner said.
“Squid Game” To Get Reality Treatment
Emmy Award-winning “Squid Game” director Hwang Dong-hyuk addressed the mounting backlash a reality spinoff of the popular series is facing while speaking to reporters at the Emmy Awards on Monday night.
“Squid Game” quickly became Netflix’s most-watched series following its release last fall. In a searing examination of capitalism and class division, the South Korean drama follows people who choose to compete in schoolyard-style games with life or death stakes in hopes of winning enough money to pay their debts off.
Over the summer, Netflix announced plans to make a reality series based on the games featured in the show called “Squid Game: The Challenge.” Just like in “Squid Game,” 456 contestants will compete for a prize of $4.56 million. Though in this case, losers will not be executed. Netflix is billing the program as “the biggest reality competition ever.”
The announcement of the show was met with swift backlash from those who felt a reality adaptation of these games missed the point of the original series. Some even argued it felt dystopian to have real people participate in a cash-grab game based on media meant to highlight the tragedies surrounding poverty and desperation.
Hwang Responds to Criticism
While speaking in the Emmy’s press room following a successful night for the breakout series, Hwang said he understood where some of the criticisms were coming from but defended the reality series.
“I think that even though our show does carry quite a heavy message — and I know that there are some concerns of taking that message and creating it into a reality show with a cash prize,” he said via Variety. “However, I feel like when you take things too seriously, that’s really not the best way to go for the entertainment industry. It doesn’t really set a great precedent.”
“I would say that reproductions of such efforts are going to bring new meaning to the industry, and I hope that this is going to be a great new direction for the industry overall,” the director continued.
“Squid Game” won six Emmy awards including Hwang’s trophy for Outstanding Directing For a Drama Series and Lee Jung-jae’s victory for Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series.
No release date for “Squid Game: The Challenge” has been released yet, but it is set to film in the United Kingdom.