- Dozens of women on Twitter accused comedian Chris D’Elia of preying on them when they were minors, with some including screenshots of their interactions.
- Some women said D’Elia repeatedly DM’d them, tried to initiate sexual contact or conversations with them, or tried to solicit nudes from them, all while knowing they were 16 or 17.
- D’Elia denied the accusations in an interview with TMZ. He claimed all of his relationships had been legal and consensual and that he never exchanged photos with these girls. He then apologized for ever getting “caught up” in his lifestyle.
- This started a larger conversation about what needs to be done in comedy and television to prevent men who behave inappropriately form climbing to the top or using their fame to harm women.
Allegations Pour In Against Chris D’Elia
Comedian Chris D’Elia has been accused of sexually harassing and messaging underage girls by multiple women online.
The comedian and sitcom star became a trending topic on Tuesday evening when dozens of women detailed stories alleging that D’Elia messaged them online when they were teenagers and attempted to initiate sexual relationships or dialogue with them.
The chain reaction of accusations started when one woman, Simone Rossi, tweeted screenshots of her old interactions with him.
“Imagine being 16 and being groomed by a stand up comedian twice ur age and the only reason you never met up and never got physically m*lested was because u had just gotten a boyfriend ur own age,” she wrote.
She shared screenshots of e-mails the two allegedly exchanged when she was 16-years-old. In one, D’Elia suggests the two meet up and make out. In another, he asks her to send a photo.
“For the longest time i thought it was embarrassing for ME that i was interacting with this older man but he was the one who DM’d me on twitter and was the one who was twice my age and was the one that used the power imbalance between us to his advantage,” she added, also claiming that there were a ton of other underage girls with similar stories.
This prompted a flood of other women to share their experiences. Many said they were fans of his at the time or had attended one of his stand up shows when they began contact on social media. One person claimed D’Elia solicited nudes from minors while in Vancuver and tried to initiate sex with a 16-year-old.
“when i called u out on twitter you told her you’d ruin her life if i didn’t delete it. absolute pedophile scumbag,” they added.
Another shared direct messages between her and the standup that they allegedly exchanged when she was 17, and he was 30. When he learns that she is 17 he says she is “too young” but continues to message her, ask for her number, and tell her she is cute.
“Although i’ve been publicly saying it for years, FUCK Chris D’elia. he solicited nudes off of me when i was 17 years old and constantly messaged me whenever he was touring vancouver and asked me to come backstage to his shows,” another peson said, saying that D’Elia has a reputation for this.
Many also referenced the parallels between this behavior and D’Elia’s character on the second season of the Netflix show “You.” There, he plays a man who uses his fame to prey on and assault underage women.
As all these accusations were piling in online, the popular Twitter account She Rates Dogs, which shares women’s stories of their bad experiences with men, collected stories they were receiving about D’Elia. Their long thread included numerous allegations, including one from a girl who said he DM’d her when she was a senior in high school and asked for her number, telling her to keep the conversation private. That girl claimed he tried to hook up with her friend in his hotel room, but they left after they were made to feel uncomfortable.
Another story shared by She Rates Dogs came from someone who claimed D’Elia sexually assaulted their sister when she was 17 after giving her numerous drinks.
An old clip from D’Elia’s podcast “Congratulations” also began circulating around Twitter.
“You ever seen a fucking 14-year-old? She looks 30. I’ve never seen…there’s no such thing as a 14-year-old girl anymore. They go from like 6 to 25,” he says in the clip.
Responses to the Allegations
Some were surprised by the allegations, while others defended D’Elia against them. The screenshots and stories have not been verified or corroborated, and because of this, some dismissed the claims in them.
Still, other tweets from those in various comedy scenes suggested that some people may have known about at least some of his behavior. One person said when they were starting out in stand-up, one of D’Elia’s friends told her that he is known to make memes out of the nudes sent to him and then share them with his friends.
Others just seemed unsurprised by the claims.
D’Elia Denies Accusations
On Wednesday, D’Elia denied the accusations in an interview with TMZ.
“I know I have said and done things that might have offended people during my career, but I have never knowingly pursued any underage women at any point,” he told the tabloid.
“All of my relationships have been both legal and consensual and I have never met or exchanged any inappropriate photos with the people who have tweeted about me,” he continued.
“That being said, I really am truly sorry. I was a dumb guy who ABSOLUTELY let myself get caught up in my lifestyle. That’s MY fault,” D’Elia added. “I own it. I’ve been reflecting on this for some time now and I promise I will continue to do better.”
Predatory Behavior in Comedy
The accusations against D’Elia also opened a larger conversation about predatory behavior in comedy and television.
“Comedy is a treasure trove of the type of guy who gets any amount of social currency and then thinks, “how can I use this to prey on underage girls,” writer and podcaster Dana Schwartz tweeted.
She also shared an experience of her own. At one point, she worked with an established and older male screenwriter. He was married and twice her age, but tried to kiss her one day. After she rejected him, he cut off communication and dropped the project.
Stand-up comedian Meghan Gailey said comedy club owners should be doing more to stop comedians with known predatory behavior from getting booked.
Writer and stand-up comedian Ian Karmel applauded the women who spoke out against D’Elia and asked how the comedy community could become a safer place where women do not have to tell these stories.
Many suggested that men need to call out other men when they see something that looks suspect so they can stop inappropriate behavior in its tracks.
See what others are saying: (Vulture) (Newsweek) (The Independant)
Alissa Violet Sues FaZe Clan Over Stock It Allegedly Owes Her
The social media star says she was promised stock in FaZe Clan as part of a previous settlement but has yet to receive her shares.
Alissa Violet Sues FaZe Clan
Social media influencer Alissa Marie Violet Butler, known online as Alissa Violet, is suing digital entertainment and esports collective FaZe Clan over stock she is allegedly owed.
According to a Monday report from The Washington Post, Butler’s case stems from a previous lawsuit that involved both her and FaZe Clan. The report says that in 2018, Butler transferred her shares in a media company she co-founded called Clout Gang to a different company called Hubrick Limited as part of an agreement with FaZe Clan. At the time, Hubrick and FaZe Clan were partnering to develop both businesses.
Per The Post, several other FaZe Clan members were part of a similar exchange where they transferred their FaZe Clan shares for Hubrick shares as well. The partnership between the two companies crumbled, however, leading to a legal frenzy. Butler, FaZe Clan, Clout Gang, and more ended up accusing Hubrick of fraud in a lawsuit. Hubrick tossed the allegation right back at them in a countersuit.
To resolve the matters, The Post says Butler and FaZe Clan “entered into an oral agreement to settle the lawsuits with Hubrick,” which involved Butler giving up her Hubrick stock and dropping her claims against the company. In return, she would then receive FaZe Clan common stock.
Butler says that despite holding up her end of the bargain, she has still not received stock in FaZe Clan.
Responses to Lawsuit
Butler has over 10 million followers on Instagram and another 3.7 million subscribers on YouTube. She has had a career in modeling and picked up a handful of acting credits in television shows and music videos. She previously dated the co-owner of FaZe Clan, FaZe Banks.
According to The Post, FaZe Clan is valued at around $300 million.
“If Faze Clan simply abided by its promise to compensate her, Alissa would not have had to sue Faze Clan,” Butler’s attorney, Bryan Freedman, said to The Post.
FaZe Clan defended itself in a statement to the outlet, saying it “denies generally and specifically each and every allegation contained in the Complaint.”
FaZe Clan CEO Lee Trink also sent an email to The Post claiming that the matter will likely be resolved.
“Stories get created out of any disagreement or dispute, big or small,” he wrote. “On this particular matter we’re in close communication and confident it’ll be resolved amicably.”
It is unclear how much Butler is seeking in her suit.
See what others are saying: (The Washington Post )(Dexerto) (Esports.com)
Priyanka Chopra Jonas Says “The Activist” Reality Series “Got It Wrong”
The controversial series is now being reworked into a documentary, which Chopra Jonas hopes will better “highlight the actions and impact” of global activists.
Priyanka Chopra Jonas Apologizes For “The Activist”
Actress Priyanka Chopra Jonas responded to controversies surrounding “The Activist,” a CBS reality competition series she was slated to co-host that is now being reworked following widespread backlash.
“The Activist” was going to show real activists competing against one another in various challenges in an effort to promote their philanthropic causes. After many expressed disgust at the premise, CBS said it would scrap the footage already shot and turn the idea into a one-time documentary special highlighting the work and impacts of different activists.
“The show got it wrong, and I’m sorry that my participation in it disappointed many of you,” Chopra Jonas wrote on Instagram. “The intention was always to bring attention to the people behind the ideas and highlight the actions and impact of the causes they support tirelessly. I’m happy that in this new format, their stories will be the highlight.”
“I’m proud to collaborate with partners who have their ear to the ground and know when it’s time to hit pause and re-evaluate,” she added.
Chopra Jonas closed her post by thanking the “global community of activists” for their hard work, which often goes unacknowledged.
Controversies Surrounding “The Activist”
Musician Usher and dancer Julianne Hough were cast to host alongside Chopra Jonas. After a release announcing the show and their casting went out last week, it was slammed online by activists and journalists alike.
Actress and activist Jameela Jamil wrote that the network would have been better off donating the presumably large production costs to charity instead of “turning activism into a game.”
Women’s activist Gina Martin thought turning charity into a competition was counterintuitive, arguing “the whole *essense* of activism is solidarity and community.”
Writers from The Verge, The Washington Post, Essence, and countless other outlets likewise published pieces slamming the program. The Post’s Michele L. Norris accused CBS of “trying to capitalize on the current avalanche of doom in the daily news cycle.”
Norris added that the show’s “prize,” which was to attend the G20 summit in Italy, boiled down to activists fighting “merely for the right to crash an international conference and try to shake down world leaders for cash.”
Responses From Those Involved
Chopra Jonas is not the only host to address the criticism. Before the idea was canned, Hough wrote a lengthy Instagram post saying she was listening to the dialogue regarding the program.
“There is a feeling of insult, dehumanization, insensitivity and hurt that is being rightfully felt,” she wrote.
“I do not claim to be an activist and wholeheartedly agree that the judging aspect of the show missed the mark and furthermore, that I am not qualified to act as a judge,” she added, though she stopped short of actually stepping down from the gig.
CBS ended up releasing a joint statement with Global Citizen and Live Nation acknowledging the failings of the concept.
“It has become apparent the format of the show as announced distracts from the vital work these incredible activists do in their communities every day,” the statement said. “The push for global change is not a competition and requires a global effort.”
The statement said the new documentary will “showcase the tireless work of six activists and the impact they have advocating for causes they deeply believe in” without any competitive element.
See what others are saying: (CNN) (Vanity Fair) (BBC News)
Health Officials in the U.S. and Trinidad Shut Down Nicki Minaj’s Vaccine Claims
After the rapper claimed her cousin’s friend had severe side effects from the vaccine, Dr. Anthony Fauci said she should be “thinking twice about propagating information that really has no basis.”
Health Officials Condemn Nicki Minaj’s Vaccine Statement
Health officials in the United States and Trinidad and Tobago are refuting claims rapper Nicki Minaj made this week suggesting that COVID-19 vaccines can lead to testicular swelling.
“My cousin in Trinidad won’t get the vaccine cuz his friend got it & became impotent,” Minaj tweeted Monday. “His testicles became swollen. His friend was weeks away from getting married, now the girl called off the wedding. So just pray on it & make sure you’re comfortable with ur decision, not bullied.”
The symptoms Minaj described in the tweet about her cousin’s friend fall more in line with those of various sexually transmitted diseases. The CDC has repeatedly noted that there is “currently no evidence that any vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, cause fertility problems in women or men.”
International health officials doubled down on this after Minaj’s remarks went viral. Dr. Terrence Deyalsingh, the Health Minister for Trinidad and Tobago, said his department takes every claim of this nature seriously and found no proof that Minaj’s anecdote was true after spending hours thoroughly researching it.
“Unfortunately, we wasted so much time yesterday running down this false claim,” he said during a press conference on Wednesday.
“As we stand now, there is absolutely no reported side effect or adverse event of testicular swelling in Trinidad, or, I dare say anywhere else?” he continued. “None that we know of anywhere in the world.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House’s leading infectious disease expert, likewise debunked Minaj’s story while speaking to CNN.
“She should be thinking twice about propagating information that really has no basis, except a one-off anecdote, and that’s not what science is all about,” Dr. Fauci told Jake Tapper this week.
Nicki Minaj Claims She Received Invite to Discuss Vaccines at the White House
As vaccine misinformation continues to spread and elongate the pandemic, the Biden administration has unveiled several efforts to instill trust in the science behind it. Minaj claimed Wednesday she was invited to the White House to discuss the vaccine and ask questions on behalf of those who need convincing.
A White House official, however, claimed that she was not offered a trip but rather a call with “one of our doctors to answer questions she has about the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine.” Minaj slammed the White House on Instagram Wednesday night for undercutting her claim.
“Do you think I’d go on the internet and lie about being invited to the fucking White House?” she said in a 14-minute video. “Like, what?!”
“You know what the request was? ‘We’d like to offer Nicki an invitation to come to the White House to speak with two people,” she continued. “With, what is that man’s name? Dr. Fauci? And with the Surgeon General.”
Minaj said that when she expressed concerns about traveling, they offered the chance to also do a live chat on the social media platform of her choice. Throughout the remainder of her video, she repeatedly made startling claims suggesting the media was targeting an attack on her to make her look dumb so people would stop asking questions about the vaccine.
By Thursday, that video had been viewed over 1.6 million times. “I Stand With Nicki” trended on Twitter Thursday as some claimed the media has twisted her words, while others slammed her fanbase for supporting the rapper as she promoted misinformation.