- Cardi B released her new song “WAP,” featuring Megan Thee Stallion, which has prompted a mix of reactions online.
- Some conservatives said the song’s explicit sexual nature sets women back, encourages promiscuity, and is degrading. James P. Bradley, a Republican running for a Congressional seat in California, said it “made me want to pour holy water in my ears.”
- Fans defended the song as empowering and argued that women should not be shamed for talking about or enjoying sex, especially since men in the industry make similar music without the same level of backlash.
- Others were frustrated that Kylie Jenner was featured in the music video, which prompted over 65,000 people to sign a petition asking for her cameo to be removed.
Rapper Cardi B released a new song and music video with Megan Thee Stallion on Friday that took the internet by storm.
The song is called “WAP,” which stands for – well, if you know you know– and it’s already amassed over 59 million views on YouTube as of Monday morning. It’s no secret that the song is explicit and if you’ve spent any time on the internet this weekend, you’ve probably seen a huge range of reactions to it.
Criticism Over Explicit Lyrics
Some were quick to slam the song for its sexual nature. For instance, James P. Bradley, a Republican running for a Congressional seat in California, tweeted: “Cardi B & Megan Thee Stallion are what happens when children are raised without God and without a strong father figure. Their new “song” The #WAP (which i heard accidentally) made me want to pour holy water in my ears and I feel sorry for future girls if this is their role model!.”
DeAnna Lorraine, another Republican and former congressional candidate from California made similar remarks, tweeting: “Cardi B & Megan Thee Stallion just set the entire female gender back by 100 years with their disgusting & vile “WAP” song.”
She even pointed to specific lyrics she took issue with and claimed the song should be banned.
Still, Bradley and Lorraine weren’t alone. Other politicians made similar remarks about the song being degrading and encouraging promiscuity.
All the comments were met with backlash for several reasons, but in general, many pointed to double standards in the music industry since men often sexualize women without the same level of criticism. Others said the song is empowering and that women shouldn’t be shamed for talking about or enjoying sex.
Cardi B, for her part, seems to be enjoying the outrage. She responded to news of conservatives wanting her song banned by saying, “THIS IS KINDA ICONIC AND IM LIVING FOR IT.”
In fact, Cardi and others have even been making jokes about the explicit nature of the song. When Charlemagne tha God pretended to be offended by the lyrics, Cardi issued an “apology” to “all ass eaters.”
“We didn’t want to offend any ass eaters around the world especially offending ya by calling ya a derogatory word such as ‘bottom feeder.’ This have tough us a lesson and we will never do it again,” she teased.
For the most part, however, it seems like many have been loving the song and supporting the two rappers, and all of the outrage over the lyrics has actually just inspired a slew of memes and joking responses.
For example, one user told Lorraine, “If you don’t got that gorilla grip just say dat.”
Meanwhile, music critic Anthony Fantano said, “if you hate WAP, you’re bad at f–king.”
Outrage Over Kylie Jenner
The lyrics weren’t the only reason the rappers faced backlash this weekend. Many were also frustrated by the fact that Kylie Jenner made a cameo appearance in the music video.
At one point in it, the music stops as Jenner walks down a hallway and opens a door. However, she wasn’t the only star who made an appearance. Near the end, artists like Normani, Rosalía, Mulatto, Sukihana, and Rubi Rose were featured, with Normani, in particular, having a dance number.
Still, many felt that Jenner was given too much screen time in comparison or shouldn’t have been included at all. There’s even a change.org petition to have her cameo cut from the video that has over 65,000 signatures.
One user also shared her frustrations about Jenner’s appearance online, writing, “Normani did ALL this and Kylie walked down the hall and opened a door. If that’s not a perfect visual indication of Black women having to do the most and white women do the bare minimum work to get somewhere, I don’t know what it.”
However, Cardi B responded to that post in a series of now-deleted tweets. “Normani is one of the best female artists that dances Like she dances her fuckin ass off!” Cardi wrote. “Why would she open a door? Please tell me how that would make sense? The best of the song is the beat and hook it makes you want to shake your ass.”
She also added, “Not everything is about race,” saying that there are other issues in the world that are, which she speaks on.
Finally, she added, “why did i put Kylie on my music video? She treated my sister and daughter so lovely at her kid bday party. Travis and Set are real close and Kris Jenner have giving [sic] me advice on certain things I ask for and her husband real cool with mine.”
Cardi also agreed with another person’s tweet, which said Normal danced because that is her talent, and Kylie “strutted like a model,” because that’s hers.
Still, others noted that whether you like Jenner or not, her presence got more people talking about the video, which likely brought in even more views as people became curious to see what all the outrage was about.
See what others are saying: (Metro UK) (Junkee) (EOnline)
Minneapolis Venue Cancels Chapelle Performance At Last-Minute, Show Moves to New Theater
The club issued an apology to its staff and supporters, promising to hold itself to a higher standard.
Chappelle Dropped From First Avenue
A famed performance venue in Minneapolis canceled a scheduled show from Dave Chappelle just hours before it began on Wednesday after facing backlash for booking the comedian.
First Avenue posted a statement to its social media accounts announcing that Chapelle would instead be performing at Varsity Theater, which was already set to host him Thursday and Friday. The switch up came as Chappelle has repeatedly faced backlash for making jokes aimed at the transgender community.
“To staff, artists, and our community, we hear you and we are sorry,” First Avenue said. “We know we must hold ourselves to the highest standards, and we know we let you down. We are not just a black box with people in it, and we understand that First Ave is not just a room, but meaningful beyond our walls.”
The club went on to note that its staff and supporters have worked hard to make the venue a safe space.
“We believe in diverse voices and the freedom of artistic expression, but in honoring that, we lost sight of the impact this would have,” the statement continued. “We know there are some who will not agree with this decision; you are welcome to send feedback.”
Protests at Varsity Theater
Varsity Theater followed up by confirming that it would honor First Avenue ticketholders at its doors.
The last-minute decision prompted swift confusion on Twitter from people who wondered why First Avenue waited so long to drop Chappelle. Some speculated that staffers at the venue refused to work the gig, while others pointed to a Change.org petition that said Chappelle is “dangerous to trans people” and argued First Avenue has “a duty to protect the community.”
That petition only collected 126 signatures, but regardless of where the backlash came from, it was severe enough for First Avenue to make the abrupt decision.
According to the Star Tribune, frustrations were significant enough that critics eventually directed their attention to Varsity Theater after it agreed to book Chappelle on Wednesday. Around 40 protesters stood outside the theater before the show started shouting “trans lives matter.”
So far, Chappelle has not released a statement about the theater switch. He has defended himself against accusations of transphobia, and his special “The Closer” — which first prompted the swell of criticism — has since become Emmy-nominated.
See what others are saying: (NPR) (Deadline) (The Hollywood Reporter)
Netflix Loses One Million Subscribers, Less Than Half of Its Anticipated Loss
In a letter to shareholders, the company said it had a variety of plans to boost its revenue, including password sharing crackdowns and a new ad-supported tier.
Netflix’s Subscriber Count
Netflix revealed in a Tuesday earnings report that it lost 970,000 subscribers in the second quarter of the year. That substantial loss, however, was seen as a victory for the streaming service.
After losing 200,000 subscribers in the first quarter of 2022, Netflix had initially predicted it would lose two million in the second. The figures revealed Tuesday mark a loss not even half as severe as anticipated, giving the company an unexpected win.
After two consecutive quarters of loss, Netflix has a more optimistic outlook for the rest of the year, expecting to add one million subscribers in the next three months.
In a letter to shareholders, the company said that its slowed growth was tied to connected TV adoption, account sharing, competition, the impacts of the war in Ukraine, and larger economic issues.
“We’ve now had more time to understand these issues, as well as how best to address them,” Netflix said.
Going forward, the streaming giant vowed to “focus on better monetizing usage” of its service through its plans to offer an ad-supported tier and crack down on password sharing.
Ad Tier and Password Crackdowns
The proposed ad-supported option would come at a lower cost than current subscription plans, which would remain ad-free. With a goal of launching in early 2023, Microsoft has already been announced as Netflix’s technology and sales partner.
Netflix said it would first introduce this tier in a handful of markets with high advertising spending, then do a larger rollout as it learns about how to improve the offering.
“Advertising business in a few years will likely look quite different than what it looks like on day one,” the letter said.
Larger details regarding the ad tier remain unknown, but Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos said during an earnings video that not all of the platform’s content will be immediately available to those who chose the option.
The company’s plans to restrict the ability to share passwords with out-of-household users will likely prove to be more controversial. Trials for this are already underway, and according to several reports, users in certain test countries are being charged a $2.99 fee to add a home to their accounts.
It is unclear exactly what a larger rollout of this feature will look like. Netflix told shareholders that it is still in the “early stages of working to monetize the 100m+ households” that use the streaming service without directly paying for it.
“We know this will be a change for our members,” the company said. “As such, we have launched two different approaches in Latin America to learn more. Our goal is to find an easy-to-use paid sharing offering that we believe works for our members and our business that we can roll out in 2023.”
The crackdown has been met with frustration and criticism online from those who feel this model would not work for families who do not all live in one house together. Whether or not Netflix will cater to these concerns is unclear, as it has repeatedly maintained that password sharing has played a major part in its recent struggles.
ABC and Quinta Brunson Sued Over Alleged “Abbott Elementary” Copyright Infringement
Brunson’s hit sitcom was recently nominated for seven Emmy awards.
“Abbott Elementary” Sued
Quinta Brunson, the creator and star of “Abbott Elementary,” is facing a copyright lawsuit over allegations that she and ABC stole the hit sitcom from another writer’s script.
According to The Wrap, writer and actress Christine Davis hit Brunson and the network with the suit last week. Davis claims the premise of the Emmy-nominated comedy was taken from a show she wrote called “This School Year.”
The Wrap, which obtained a copy of the suit, reported Davis claims both shows are “striking and substantially similar,” including the way they capture an inner-city school in mockumentary style, as well as in the “unique plot synopsis, set design, and unique characters.”
The suit pointed to a handful of characters in “Abbott Elementary” it claims are “nearly identical” to ones in “This School Year, including a young main teacher and older main characters. It also alleged that both opening episodes involved a principal taking a main character’s rug.
“Abbott Elementary” follows a group of teachers at a public school in Philadelphia. Led by Brunson’s overly eager Janine Teagues, the educators work tirelessly to help their students despite their lack of funding and resources.
Davis reportedly wrote her script in 2018 and registered it with the copyright office in 2020. “Abbott Elementary” hit screens in the winter of 2021.
Davis claims she contacted two producers at Blue Parks Productions in the summer of 2020 and took several meetings regarding the show. During this time, she learned that Hulu and ABC were interested in Black, female-led comedies.
According to the A.V. Club, neither of the producers named in the suit appear to have anything to do with “Abbott Elementary.”
The Success of “Abbott Elementary”
Davis is seeking a jury trial and for Brunson and ABC to “turn over all the profits they made from the show.”
Neither Brunson nor ABC has responded to the lawsuit.
Deadline first reported that Brunson landed a pilot commitment at ABC for a “teacher comedy” in September 2020. The report did not say when the initial writing or development of the show started.
Since its debut, “Abbott Elementary” has been hailed as a heartwarming success by critics and audiences alike. It delivered historic ratings for ABC and was nominated for seven Emmy Awards last week, including outstanding comedy series.
In addition to that nod, Brunson picked up two other nominations for best actress in a comedy series and outstanding writing for comedy. With those three slots, she became the first Black woman to get three nominations for the same comedy show in a single year.