- On July 12, rapper Tory Lanez was arrested and charged for carrying a concealed weapon inside an SUV after an incident involving Megan Thee Stallion.
- Megan later explained that she had been shot and underwent surgery to remove the bullets she was hit with.
- Later reports and rumors suggested that Lanez was responsible for shooting Megan after a dispute between them, however, there are not many confirmed details about what exactly happened.
- Following days of memes and jokes, Megan slammed people for making light of her traumatic experience, saying, “Black women are so unprotected.”
Initial Reports and Videos
Just a day after telling the public that she had been shot, rapper Megan Thee Stallion slammed internet users for making light of her traumatic experience.
In the early hours of Sunday, June 12, Los Angeles police officers responded to a call in Hollywood Hills. However, at the time, TMZ first reported that rapper Tory Lanez was arrested for having a weapon in a vehicle. The report claimed people were arguing in an SUV before someone fired shots in the air and the vehicle took off. It also said Meg Thee Stallion was at the scene and had suffered a cut on her foot believed to be from broken glass on the floor.
After this report, questions appeared online about what actually happened and if Megan had also been arrested. Then on Wednesday, TMZ released footage of police detaining people who were inside the vehicle. Footage from another angle also spread online and was later obtained by TMZ. It showed a woman believed to be Megan walking towards police leaving a trail of blood on the floor with each step.
Following this, all kinds of rumors began spreading, including some that suggested Megan had also been arrested or was involved in committing a crime. Megan finally set the record straight in a social media post on Thursday, calling the narrative she’s seen reported “inaccurate.”
“I suffered gunshot wounds, as a result of a crime that was committed against me and done with the intention to physically harm me,” she said.
She also clarified that she was not arrested and was taken to the hospital by police where she underwent surgery to remove the bullets, adding, “I’m incredibly grateful to be alive and that I’m expected to make a full recovery, but it was important to clarify the details about this traumatic night.”
Rumors About Who Shot Megan Circulate
That post ended up fueling even more rumors as people began to wonder who shot her and what Tory Lanez’s role was in this. In fact, some began to speculate that Lanez was defending her against someone else.
However, that idea was previously shut down by people close to Megan. For instance, a producer who has worked with Megan said in a now-deleted tweet, “I hope y’all don’t believe he was defending her! This is a bullsh*t story.”
At one point, even Megan’s best friend Kelsey Nicole was accused of shooting Megan, which she eventually denied.
But after Megan’s post, outlets like Page Six and TMZ reported that Lanez was the person who fired the shots. The reports suggested that an argument broke out between the musicians and allegedly escalated when Megan and Kelsey wanted to leave the car.
A source told Page Six, ”Tory fired the shots from within the vehicle while Megan was outside trying to leave.”
“There is video and the police are investigating. This is a case of a man physically harming and abusing a woman.”
Still, concrete details about what really happened remain unclear. Police have said they are investigating and have asked for anyone with more information to come forward.
Megan Responds to Jokes
As all this news has unfolded, tons of internet users have made jokes and memes about both Megan and Tory Lanez.
Megan wasn’t having it and on Friday, she tweeted, “Black women are so unprotected & we hold so many things in to protect the feelings of others w/o considering our own. It might be funny to y’all on the internet and just another messy topic for you to talk about but this is my real life and I’m real life hurt and traumatized.”
Many agreed and have also been slamming people for joking about something so serious as the 25-year-old rapper tries to recover. Others argued that if a male had been shot, people might have reacted differently.
As far as what is known about Lanez, he was booked at Hollywood jail for carrying a concealed weapon in a vehicle and was released that same day on a $35,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear in court on October 13.
See what others are saying: (Billboard) (People) (Teen Vogue)
Katy Perry and Portia de Rossi Share Support for Ellen
- Ellen DeGeneres received words of support from her wife Portia de Rossi, singer Katy Perry, and others following accusations that her the workplace behind the scenes of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” is toxic.
- Several reports indicated that DeGeneres might be departing from her show, but NBC News confirmed Tuesday that she is staying for an 18th season.
- The allegations against top staffers on the show include bullying, racism, and sexual harassment.
- WarnerMedia is conducting an investigation into the workplace, and DeGeneres said she is committed to making changes going forward.
Stars Defend Ellen
Rumors have been swirling that Ellen DeGeneres might be leaving her post as the host of her own talk show following allegations of a toxic workplace behind the scenes. However, those rumors were quelled on Tuesday morning, and celebrities began to speak up in support of the daytime host.
Pop star Katy Perry tweeted support for DeGeneres, saying she has “only ever had positive takeaways” from her encounters with her. Perry also praised DeGeneres for the strides she has made when it comes to representation and equality on television and elsewhere.
On Monday, DeGeneres’ wife, actress Portia de Rossi, shared an Instagram photo that said “I Stand By Ellen.”
Country singer Brandi Carlile responded to the post, calling the attacks against DeGeneres “unprecedented.”
“Ellen has made my life so much easier for me and other LGBTQ people,” she commented. “I’ll never stop being grateful for that.”
Some Speak Out Against Ellen
Other stars have been quicker to condemn Degeneres. Brad Garrett, best known for his role on “Everybody Loves Raymond,” said these issues are well known and start at the top.
“Know more than one who were treated horribly by her. Common knowledge,” he tweeted.
“Back to the Future” actress Lea Thompson replied to an article sharing Garrett’s statement and said it was true.
Twitter has also been quick to punish DeGeneres. Several reports indicated that she was leaving and speculated that James Corden might be her replacement. On Monday, #ReplaceEllen was a trending topic where users suggested personalities that they believe should step into DeGeneres’ shoes.
The reports suggesting she is leaving the show have been disproven. On Tuesday, NBC News confirmed that DeGeneres would be staying on for an 18th season.
What Are the Accusations?
The accusations against DeGeneres and her staff are serious. Some former staffers say that producers use intimidation and fear tactics on set every day. Others say they have faced racism. WarnerMedia is conducting an investigation into the matter. DeGeneres herself released a statement on Thursday addressing her staff.
“On day one of our show, I told everyone in our first meeting that ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ would be a place of happiness — no one would ever raise their voice, and everyone would be treated with respect,” she wrote. “Obviously, something changed, and I am disappointed to learn that this has not been the case. I could not have the success I’ve had without all of your contributions. My name is on the show and everything we do and I take responsibility for that.”
Following her response, more allegations were shot at leaders of the show. BuzzFeed News published a scathing piece accusing three of the show’s top staffers of sexual assault and harassment, including head writer and executive producer Kevin Leman. One ex-employee said Leman asked him if he could give him a handjob or perform oral sex while at a company party. Another said they saw Leman grab a production assistant’s penis.
Almost a dozen also said it was common for him to make inappropriate sexual comments and jokes. Leman told BuzzFeed that these allegations and their article were malicious and misleading.
Executive producer Ed Glavin was also accused of inappropriately touching women, and allegedly “had a reputation for being handsy with women.” 47 former employees also told BuzzFeed that he led with intimidation and fear on a daily basis. Prior to BuzzFeed‘s publication, several reports indicated that as a result of WarnerMedia’s investigation, Glavin could be departing the show.
Co-executive producer Jonathan Norman was accused of grooming a former employee by taking him to concerts and giving him other perks. That employee alleges that one night, Norman attempted to perform oral sex on them. This was corroborated by three former employees. Norman also denied this to BuzzFeed, claiming that the accusations come from someone with ulterior motives.
It is not clear what other actions will be taken as a result of these accusations.
See what others are saying: (NBC News) (Washington Post) (People)
Emmys Preparing Remote Telecast for September Show
- As has long been assumed, officials with the Emmys confirmed that the awards show will be conducting a remote telecast on Sept. 20.
- A letter sent to nominees by host Jimmy Kimmel and several other producers said that aspects of the show will be coming to nominees’ homes to create a virtual show.
- According to that letter, technicians, producers, and writers will work with the nominees and with Kimmel to create the show. Nominees will be filmed from their homes or other remote locations of nominees.
- No further details about the show, including if segments will be pre-taped or if winners will be announced in advance, have been released.
Emmys Go Remote
Instead of its traditional dazzling red carpet and Los Angeles backdrop, the 2020 Emmy Awards will be coming to you from the homes of television’s biggest stars.
It has long been assumed that the show would not go forward in the Microsoft Theater, as coronavirus lockdowns, social distancing protocols, travel restrictions, and case increases in L.A. make that a seemingly impossible concept. Host Jimmy Kimmel, along with some of the show’s producers, confirmed this in a letter addressed to nominees, obtained by Variety on Wednesday.
“At a time like this, we’re taking the opportunity to create a moment that is more relaxed, more entertaining, more enjoyable not only for you, but for the millions watching at home,” that letter stated. “It’s still television’s highest honor, and we never want to lose the significance of being nominated for, and maybe winning, an Emmy, but we’re going to do in a way that is appropriate to the moment (and guarantees you a memorable night).”
“But we cannot ignore the circumstances, and aside from NOT being able to come together in one place, we also acknowledge that our world is going through a challenging moment in many ways,” the letter continued. “We’ll be producing an event that is filled with warmth and humanity, which celebrates the power of television to bring us together and to help us shape our world.”
What to Expect
As for how this works come show night on Sept. 20, the letter further explains that a team of technicians, producers, and writers will work with Kimmel and the nominees to capture essential awards show moments from the homes of nominees or another remote location of their choice.
Fashion wise, the letter said that the theme of the night is “come as you are, but make an effort!” So, if people want to suit up or throw on a ballgown, great. If they’d rather chill in their bed in PJs, that’s fine too, but powder those cheeks and make sure those pajamas are designer.
While this COVID-19-era set-up now potentially gives Americans the unprecedented chance to get a peak at A-lister’s living rooms, it also leaves a few major questions unanswered. For example, it is still not known if the whole show will run live or if portions will be pre-taped.
Likewise, we also don’t know if winners will be hearing of their victory for the first time during the broadcast or if they will be told in advance of the show. Setting up live cameras, audio, lighting and other logistics for every single nominee in the event they win is a difficult feat.
While the letter states the intent for nominees to work with the show for some technical aspect like this, it is unknown if every single nominee will appear on screen and participate the way they would during a normal show.
The Emmys will air on Sept. 20 on ABC.
See what others are saying: (Variety) (The Hollywood Reporter) (Vanity Fair)
#ChallengeAccepted Trend Faces Criticisms for Alleged False Activism
- 5.5 million people, including many A-list celebrities, have participated in the #ChallengeAccepted trend, where women post black and white photos of themselves to promote female empowerment.
- However, the trend has been heavily criticized by people like The New York Times writer Taylor Lorenz and actress Emmy Rossum who both said it actually doesn’t do anything to actively help women.
- Others have claimed the trend has lost focus and meaning, thinking it originated in Turkey, where people are sharing black and white photos of women to raise awareness for high rates of violence against women in the country.
- Instagram has stated that the trend in the U.S. is not tied to the trend in Turkey, but many are now using the hashtag to call attention to it and to encourage their followers to support the Istanbul Convention, which is meant to protect victims of domestic violence.
#ChallengeAccepted Goes Viral
As black and white photos of women flood Instagram feeds for the #ChallengeAccepted trend, the campaign has become a contentious subject. What started as a simple photo challenge is now under fire for not actually empowering women as it claims to do. Many are also concerned that these glamour shots are clogging up space where information about important subjects like femicide in Turkey could be shared.
Olivia Munn, Kristen Bell, Reese Witherspoon, Florence Pugh, Jennifer Lopez, and Kerry Washington are among the over 5.5 million people who have shared black and white photos of themselves using the hashtag #ChallengeAccepted. In addition to these photos, those who partake also often share messages about female empowerment and the importance of women supporting other women.
But the trend’s purposes and murky roots have led many to criticize the movement, and it’s unclear if any one moment served as a specific catalyst for the trend. Many now claim that it was inspired by black and white photos being shared in Turkey to raise awareness for the high rates of violence against women in the country. This has led to a lot of frustration and outrage because most of the big name celebrities sharing these photos do not mention this aspect at all, leaving their posts to just a flattering photo and brief caption.
Though, in all likelihood, this trend probably has nothing to do with what is happening in Turkey. Instagram told The New York Times reporter Taylor Lorenz that the resurgence of this challenge in the United States is actually unrelated to the trend in Turkey. Versions of this trend in the U.S. have actually existed since 2016. It has been used to spread awareness for serious diseases like cancer, as well as just to share general positivity online.
Criticism of the Online Challenge
Lorenz further discussed #ChallengeAccepted on TMZ Live, where she criticized the campaign for masquerading as a form of female empowerment while doing nothing to actually empower women.
“Just posting, you know, ‘I’m posting this beautiful photo of myself to support other women,’ that doesn’t actually do anything to, you know, move women forward or actually advocate [for] women,” she said. “It’s not highlighting impressive women, it’s not helping your company hire more women, so it’s ultimately pretty meaningless.”
Lorenz was far from the only critic of the trend. Actress Emmy Rossum asked her Twitter followers: “How is it empowering to other women to post a selfie?”
Though, Lorenz did think that in some cases, #ChallengeAccepted has been used for good. Stars like Rashida Jones used it to call for justice for Breonna Taylor. Also, because many are under the impression that women in Turkey are the root of the trend, many more have been using it to spread awareness about that.
Violence Against Women in Turkey
Various infographics have been created and shared on Instagram to educate users on the platform about femicide in Turkey. Some have been liked tens, if not hundreds of thousands of times. People all over are sharing these graphics to their Instagram stories so their followers can read up on the topic.
Violence against women in Turkey has been an issue for a long time, but it is facing renewed attention because a 27-year-old woman was recently murdered by her ex-boyfriend. This has prompted protests and calls for action when it comes to the common threats women face in the country.
According to The Guardian, 42% of Turkish women between the ages of 15-60 have suffered some form of physical or sexual violence by their husbands or partners. In 2019 alone, 474 women were murdered, mainly by partners or relatives, which was the highest rate in a decade. This number has been increasing every year for the past ten years. It is expected to climb even higher this year because of coronavirus lockdowns leading to increases in domestic violence.
Those using the challenge to discuss Turkey on Instagram are also pointing to efforts to protect the Istanbul Convention, which is a Council of Europe treaty designed to protect victims of domestic violence and other forms of violence against women. While Turkey was among the first countries to sign it, the convention is facing a new wave of threats against it.
Legislation that provides basic human rights for women in Turkey is in jeopardy under the country’s conservative leadership. According to The Guardian, lobbyists are working to change the Istanbul Convention, leaving its future in question.
Celebrities Refocus #ChallengeAccepted
With all this information going around, some celebrities have opted to refocus their role in this online challenge. Actress Florence Pugh, who shared a goofy black and white selfie, discussed the Istanbul Convention in her caption. She encouraged others to do the same.
“Women are being subjected to violence and this convention is to end forgiveness for the attacker/murderers,” the “Little Women” star wrote. “With that in mind, adjust your hashtags if you didn’t already do so.”
Pugh is also sharing information about violence against women in Turkey on her Instagram stories. Likewise, Academy Award-winning actress Natalie Portman is also sharing articles about femicide in hers, while singer Demi Lovato is raising awareness on her page, as well.
With celebrities changing the angles of their involvement in this, what initially appeared to be a surface-level girl power challenge has now started to highlight an international issue that many may have previously been unaware of. While its initial direct ties to the #ChallengeAccepted campaign have been disproven by Instagram, this issue has become a driving force behind the trend’s spread.