- Internet users have spent days talking about the music video for Lil Nas X’s new song “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” and his limited line of Satan-themed sneakers.
- Fans praised the singer for reclaiming the predominantly Christian narrative that gay people are sinners by embracing Hell in his video, which at one point features him sliding down a stripper pole to give Satan a lap dance.
- Many conservatives were outraged by his use of imagery regarding Hell and the devil as well as its potential impact on children, including South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, “Kent State gun girl” Kaitlyn Bennet, and political commentator Candace Owens.
- Lil Nas X reminded people that parents are responsible for what their kids listen to and tweeted, “i spent my entire teenage years hating myself because of the sh*t y’all preached would happen to me because i was gay. so i hope u are mad, stay mad, feel the same anger you teach us to have towards ourselves.”
Lil Nas X Responds To Backlash
Lil Nas X fired back at critics who are slamming the music video for his new song “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” and the accompanying limited line of Satan shoes he released.
The music video debuted on Friday and has since been viewed 33 million times. In the most talked about part of the video, Lil Nas X slides down a stripper pole into Hell and gives Satan a lap dance. Many people loved it and praised the singer for reclaiming the predominantly Christian narrative that gay people are sinners by embracing Hell in his video. However, others — mostly Christians and conservatives — were offended by the imagery and references to the devil.
Throughout the weekend, many have been tweeting that they are horrified by it. Because the musician’s most famous song “Old Town Road” was so popular with children, many are specifically upset that kids might watch the video and be impacted by it.
However, Lil Nas X slammed those who thought that he should stay in a PG-lane just because younger people liked “Old Town Road.”
“I literally sing about lean & adultery in old town road,” he wrote on Twitter, adding , “u decided to let your child listen. blame yourself.”
This backlash was something Lil Nas X anticipated as his song and video openly celebrate his sexuality. Prior to releasing the project, he shared a letter he wrote to his 14-year-old self, who was still in the closet with no plans to come out as gay.
“This [song] will open doors for many other queer people to simply exist,” he wrote. “You see, this is very scary for me, people will be angry, they will say I’m pushing an agenda. But the truth is, I am. The agenda to make people stay the fuck out of other people’s lives and stop dictating who they should be.”
He expanded on this idea as outrage rolled in.
“I spent my entire teenage years hating myself because of the sh*t y’all preached would happen to me because i was gay, so i hope u are mad, stay mad, feel the same anger you teach us to have towards ourselves,” he said on Twitter.
Outrage Over “Satan Shoes”
In addition to the song and video, people were also outraged by limited edition Satan shoes the singer released with MSCHF. Styled after Nike Air Max 97s, promotions for the sneakers say each of the 666 pairs contain a drop of blood. Nike has denied involvement in the line, which sold out in under a minute on Monday morning.
As backlash regarding the sneakers began to roll in, Lil Nas X posted a fake apology video on YouTube on Sunday.
“Okay guys, I see everybody’s been talking about this shoe and I just want to come forward and say,” he said before the video cuts to the part of his “Montero” music video where he gives Satan a lap dance.
The sneakers also landed him in a brief Twitter fight with South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem (R) who slammed the shoes on Twitter.
“Our kids are being told that this kind of product is, not only okay, it’s “exclusive.” But do you know what’s more exclusive? Their God-given eternal soul,” she wrote.
Lil Nas X responded with, “ur a whole governor and u on here tweeting about some damn shoes. do ur job!”
Noem hit back with a quote from the Bible and Lil Nas X ended their riff by replying with most suggestive lyrics in his song.
Lil Nas X Spars With Conservative Media Figures
Noem was far from the only conservative figure Lil Nas X called out on Twitter. He called commentator Candance Owns a “flop” after she tweeted about his sneakers and asked, “But we’re convinced it’s white supremacy that’s keeping black America behind. How stupid can we be?”
“You know you did something right when she talks about it,” he added.
The musician also sparred with Kaitlin Bennett, known on the Internet as “gun girl” because of a viral photoshoot where she walked around the campus of Kent State University with an assault rifle.
“It’s [weeks] like these that I’m thankful to be blocked by Lil Nas X,” she wrote on Twitter.
“I still see ur tweets shitty pants,” Lil Nas X responded, referencing a popular but unproven rumor that Bennett once soiled herself at a party.
Bennett replied by asking, “Do you still see your dad?” Lil Nas X then said, “yep and i might fuck yours.”
While some thought that was a mic drop-moment, Bennett shared a screenshot of the tweet in an effort to rile up her followers and other conservatives by claiming the singer was threatening to rape her father.
On Monday, Lil Nas X was still on Twitter addressing the controversy he stirred.
“We are in a pandemic and y’all are going on day 5 of being mad at a gay n**** who don’t do none but tweet all day,” he wrote.
See what others are saying: (Slate) (Entertainment Weekly) (The Hill)
Selena Gomez Slams “The Good Fight” for Kidney Transplant Joke
The singer said the reference to her transplant was “tasteless” and encouraged writers to call out these kinds of jokes so they don’t make it on air.
Selena Gomez Addresses Joke About Kidney Transplant
Singer and actress Selena Gomez slammed a recent episode of “The Good Fight” Tuesday after it made a joke about her 2017 kidney transplant.
In one scene of the Paramount+ show, a group of characters brainstorm jokes and then start discussing what subjects are out of bounds. They ultimately agree that necrophilia, autism, and “Selena Gomez’s Kidney transplant” are not to be mentioned.
This led to swift backlash online from people who thought the series was making light of Gomez’s health struggles. Many argued on Twitter that the singer’s battle with Lupus is no laughing matter, prompting Gomez to join the conversation herself.
“I am not sure how writing jokes about organ transplants for television shows has become a thing but sadly it has apparently,” she wrote. “I hope in the next writer’s room when one of these tasteless jokes are presented it’s called out immediately and doesn’t make it on air.”
Gomez also encouraged people to register as organ donors if they are able to do so.
A source close to the production of “The Good Fight,” however, told Variety that some of the anger is being taken out of context.
“If you watch the episode in full, the reference to Selena Gomez is part of a discussion the characters are having about topics that are not okay to make fun of and the idea of cancel culture and being canceled for telling a bad joke,” the source explained. “The reference is that Selena Gomez’s transplant is not something you can joke about.”
Previous Joke in “Saved by the Bell”
Still, some believe that by referencing Gomez’s kidney transplant as something you can’t joke about, the show was in turn making a joke about it.
This is not the first time a show has made headlines for making a quip about Gomez’s procedure. In 2020, a scene from Peacock’s “Saved by the Bell” reboot was removed because it included several characters talking about the situation. In the scene, characters were asking if several people, including Gomez’s ex-boyfriend Justin Bieber and singer Demi Lovato, were secretly Gomez’s organ donor. At one point “Does Selena Gomez even have a kidney?” is written on a school hallway.
Gomez’s friend Francia Raisa gave her the kidney in an act Gomez previously described as “the ultimate gift and sacrifice.” NBC ended up apologizing for the scene, claiming they had no “intention to make light of Selena’s health.” The network also donated to The Selena Gomez Fund for Lupus Research at the University of Southern California.
After the apology, Raisa slammed the joke in “Saved by the Bell” as offensive and dismissive to organ donors. She made no specific remarks about the joke in “The Good Fight” but retweeted Gomez’s posts on the matter.
See what others are saying: (Variety) (Entertainment Weekly) (People)
Disney Eviscerates Scarlett Johansson’s “Black Widow” Lawsuit as “Callous,” but Report Suggests Emma Stone and Emily Blunt May Follow Her Lead
“There is no merit whatsoever to this filing,” the company said in an uncharacteristically blunt statement that was heavily criticized online.
Johansson/Disney Lawsuit Gets Bitter
Disney has described a recent lawsuit from “Black Widow” actress Scarlett Johansson as “sad and distressing in its callous disregard for the horrific and prolonged global effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” but Johansson may have just unleashed what is to become an even bigger legal challenge for the House of Mouse.
At the center of this dispute, Johansson alleges she lost $50 million because Disney opted for a dual streaming/theater release of “Black Widow,” which debuted in theaters and for $30 on Disney+ with Premier Access earlier this month.
According to Johansson’s suit, her contract with Disney — which was negotiated prior to any hint of a pandemic — stipulated that “Black Widow” would see an exclusive theater release. Notably, the actress also said her contractual bonuses were tied to the movie’s box office performance, which is an extremely common practice with films featuring A-list celebrities.
Of course, when the pandemic hit — like many other industries — movies were upended. Pandemic-related changes meant that despite having an initial release date of May 2020, Marvel fans wouldn’t get a chance to see “Black Widow” for over a year.
Still, Johansson said she tried to contact Disney to renegotiate her contract prior to the film’s ultimate release, but she claims the company was unresponsive.
On Thursday, she then filed a complaint with the Los Angeles County Superior Court, with her attorney arguing that “Disney has enjoyed the benefits of having one of Hollywood’s top actresses promote its wholly owned subscription service at no additional cost to Disney, and with the intended effect of taking money out of that actress’ own pocket.”
Later Thursday, Disney claimed that it has “fully complied” with Johansson’s contract and that the streamed release of the film “has significantly enhanced her ability to earn additional compensation on top of the $20M she has received to date.”
“There is no merit whatsoever to this filing,” the company said in its uncharacteristically blunt statement.
Are Emma Stone and Emily Blunt Next?
Speaking of blunt, it was reported Friday that both Emily Blunt and Emma Stone may also file lawsuits against Disney’s dual streaming release of their films.
In fact, according to an exclusive newsletter run by former Hollywood Reporter Editor Matt Belloni, Stone “is said to be weighing her options” over the dual release of “Cruella” in May. Meanwhile, he suggested Blunt could also take action or speak out following this weekend’s release of “Jungle Cruise.”
Belloni went on to describe Disney as “notoriously difficult to deal with” regarding such matters and claimed that many have simply been waiting for someone powerful enough to speak out.
Disney Criticized for Its Response
Much of the public perception of the situation has led to overwhelming support for Johansson’s camp. Online, a slew of people lambasted Disney’s response, with many calling it a deflection.
See what others are saying: (ScreenRant) (Newsweek) (Variety)
Candace Owens and Logan Paul in Talks to Debate
A spokesperson confirmed to Insider Wednesday that the two have had “productive” conversations about the prospect offline.
Candace Owens Challenges Logan Paul to a Debate
Right-wing commentator Candace Owens and controversial YouTuber Logan Paul are in talks to engage in a political debate. Yes, you read that sentence correctly.
Owens — best known for making false claims about the George Floyd protests, spreading COVID-19 misinformation, and seemingly saying that Adolf Hitler “just wanted to make Germany great” — first challenged Paul to a debate on Friday. It started with her sharing a year-old clip from Paul’s podcast where he spoke about the importance of fighting racism in the United States.
“It is not enough to be ‘not racist.’ You have to be anti-racist,” he said.
“If you’re white, if you look like me, use your privilege,” he added. “And for those who do not think white privilege exists, you are fucking blind.”
Because merely acknowledging the existence of racism appears to go against Owens’ core beliefs, she asked Paul to duke it out with her.
“Logan loves to challenge people in the boxing ring,” she wrote. “I’d like to publicly challenge him to go a few rounds with me in a political debate. @LoganPaul—how about you stop by my show and explain to me how you’re *checks notes* more privileged than me because you’re white and I’m not?”
Spokesperson Confirms The Two Are in Talks
Paul — best known for launching a boxing career and filming a YouTube video that showed a dead body in Japan’s “suicide forest” — said on Tuesday that he was “perplexed” by the offer, but was taking it seriously.
“I started to entertain this action, I ended up speaking with her, and there may be a future where we sit down and have a civil discourse because I think there’s some meat on this bone,” he said during the most recent episode of his “ImPaulsive” podcast.
The internet star acknowledged that Owens’ main arena is politics, while his main arena is being a “fucking idiot” online. Still, he said he does care about these issues and has a “semi-intelligent brain,” so he thinks he could “hold [his] own.”
“Candace Owens, whether you can admit it or not, is a smart person,” Paul continued. “And so I guess I’m just curious because I just fucking fundamentally disagree with her and again, I think there’s room for a conversation.”
A spokesperson for Owens confirmed to Insider on Wednesday that the two had a “productive” offline conversation and said a public political debate between the two is “very likely.”
“Although both of them disagree on a variety of topics, they are both much more interested in learning from one another and think people would benefit from hearing an honest discussion between two parties rather than a ‘gotcha’ moment that might play well for social media,” the spokesperson added.