If he wants to redirect the conversation toward Harvey Weinstein, there are better ways to do it
Note: Since the time of writing, Snoop Dogg's original video that appeared to threaten Gayle King has been removed from his Instagram feed. The other posts mentioned remain intact.
Gayle King has received a lot of backlash following her interview with Lisa Leslie—the former WNBA Center and Kobe Bryant's close friend.
King has been attacked for a clip taken from the interview in which she asked Leslie to address the 2003 rape allegations against Bryant. While King has defended herself by saying that the clip was taken out of context to make the wide-ranging interview seem far more provocative than it actually was, there are many who find that defense inadequate. Even if you embrace the idea that the events in question have to be acknowledged as part of Bryant's legacy, there is something distasteful about the idea of forcing his close friend to confront the issue so soon after Bryant's tragic death. It's hardly surprising that the clip got so much pushback, but one person, in particular, has taken things way too far.
CBS This Morning
Snoop Dogg posted a video to his Instagram account last week with the fairly innocuous text "P.S.A. Let the Family Mourn in Peace." He included the heart and prayer hand emojis before continuing, "#gayleking outta pocket FDHBiiiych." In the video itself, Snoop claims that King is "way outta pocket," which is fair enough. Snoop has made it clear that he has a strong sense of connection to Kobe Bryant, and Gayle King's approach to the interview with Leslie clearly set him off. Where he started to go a little too far was when he clarified what "FDHBiiiych" meant in the text of the post. Apparently, Snoop has coined a new phrase in declaring King a "funky dog-head b*tch."
King's looks obviously have nothing to do with the issue Snoop has with her. Getting emotional and lashing out with personal attacks like that just makes him look petty and misogynistic, but if that were the only problem with the video, it wouldn't really be worth writing about. Unfortunately, things only get worse from there. The venom in his voice builds as he accuses King of trying to torch Bryant's reputation and target him instead of Harvey Weinstein, then he calls her a "punk mother*cker," and concludes with this threat: "respect the family and back off, b*tch before we come get you."
There might not be any real intention of harm behind Snoop's words, but that's not the issue. At the time of writing, the video had about 2.6 million views, and nearly half a million people have indicated that they like it. Any one of those people might take Snoop's words as a sincere call to violence. King has reportedly received numerous death threats since the interview. Is Snoop really on board with that? Evidently not, as he posted a dubious clarification over the weekend, claiming that he "didn't threaten her," that he's "a nonviolent person," and that he "didn't want no harm to come to her," but the original video remains online, and has nearly twice as many views and likes as the follow up. If he genuinely wishes Gayle King no harm, he would have made it clear by deleting the original video, but that post remained up until Monday afternoon.
Snoop also made several other posts before issuing his clarification. And those posts only doubled down on his attack and got into even more disturbing territory. In one such post, invoking Gayle King's close friendship with Oprah Winfrey, Snoop posted a picture of Oprah smiling with Harvey Weinstein, building a case that Oprah and Gayle only criticize black men. The accompanying text attacks Oprah for her coverage of accusations against Michael Jackson by "lying ass kids," and refers to Weinstein as a "known rapist," though the image predates the public revelation of Weinstein's (alleged) pattern of horrifying sexual violence. Oprah has been such a prominent part of American media for so long that it's easy to find images of her smiling with almost any iconic celebrity—including Michael Jackson, Kobe Bryant, and Bill Cosby… Cosby, in particular, is worth mentioning because of the way Snoop chose to close his post: "F*ck u and Gayle. Free Bill Cosby."
There is room for a conversation about a solitary rape allegation that was settled out of court. While the failure of the justice system to convict perpetrators of sexual violence is well-documented, adherents of the "innocent until proven guilty" mantra can make a case against dredging up one seemingly anomalous incident—even if Bryant's own apology acknowledged wrongdoing. But Bill Cosby is another case entirely.
60 women have accused Bill Cosby of sexual assault, and almost all of the incidents they described included the common element of Cosby using drugs and alcohol to facilitate his crimes. In 2018 he was found guilty of three counts of aggravated indecent assault. Bill Cosby should not be free.
It's understandable that people don't want to throw out the legacy of one of the first black men to gain mainstream acceptance in America—and Cosby's work as a comedian and an actor was hugely important to generations of Americans of all races. He was America's Dad. But all the while, he was abusing and victimizing women. His continued denial of guilt does not hold up under the weight of the consistent pattern that the accusations against him illustrate.
Bill Cosby was found guilty because he's guilty. Those who continue to defend him are implicitly attacking his victims and the credibility of victims of sexual assault generally. Bill Cosby and his advocates continue to erase the voices of his accusers—many of whom are black women—with claims that his prosecution was motivated by racism. Snoop fed into that narrative, and Bill Cosby was all too eager to jump on a new opportunity to defend himself in a tweet to Snoop, claiming that "successful Black Women are being used to tarnish the image and legacy of successful Black Men." Cosby followed up with a series of hashtags including #ThankYouSnoopDogg, and Snoop made another Instagram post in response, saying, "Love u uncle bill."
That is so far from acceptable. This is not "uncle Bill." This is not Cliff Huxtable. This is not even the man who told clean jokes about going to the dentist and criticized the vulgarity and "anti-woman messages" in music like Snoop's. Bill Cosby wore his public respectability as a shield against scrutiny and suspicion while operating as a zealous sexual predator for decades. You can not fight racism by erasing the voices and experiences of black women.
Cosby accusers reacting to his guilty verdict
More than 800,000 people have liked Snoop's "uncle bill" post, proving that there is still a big audience for denying Bill Cosby's guilt. All the more reason why Snoop needs to delete these posts. Whether he intended to threaten Gayle King when he insisted that she "back off… before we come get you," by defending Bill Cosby, he is implicitly endorsing violence against women and discrediting whatever point he wanted to make about King's interview with Lisa Leslie.
In his retraction video, Snoop closed with the claim that "We speak from the heart. Some of you who have no heart don't understand that." If he really wants to prove he has a heart, he can't only support black men—he needs to support and listen to black women, and he needs to delete these posts.
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Let the witch hunt begin.
Kamala Harris may have won yesterday's Democratic debate, but Marianne Williamson won the most important battle of all: She's Twitter's favorite new meme.
Most viewers may not have heard of Williamson, who has made her name writing spiritual self-help books that include titles like On Self-Esteem: Loving Yourself and Emotional Self-Sufficiency and Illuminata: A Return to Prayer. She made waves during the debate last night for her out-there comments, but more for her piercingly mystical aura, which has sent the Internet into a spiral of Stevie Nicks, crystals, and edible-related conspiracy theories.
Here are the main reasons that she's become the best thing to happen to Twitter in years.
1. She philosophized like a middle-aged Californian divorcee on an ayahuasca trip in Ecuador.
Williamson's success in the memetic sphere stems from the fact that she evoked a very specific type of aura: that of your aunt who dropped too much LSD while practicing African dance in Thailand and who now runs a holistic therapy practice in California. Apparently, it resonated on more than one plane.
2. Her old Tweets are incredible.
Williamson's Twitter feed is full of gems—specifically: crystals, amethysts, and rose quartz, purchased from your local Wiccan yoga studio and arranged into a perfect Solstice altar on your Williamsburg doorstep. Williamson's cosmic mind has clearly traversed the outer reaches of the psyche, delving deep into the hidden places where our world brushes up against the next dimension.
Clearly, all Americans should have the right to life, liberty, and soul-explosion.
3. She may or may not have taken an edible before the debate.
Many viewers were struck by the distinctly psychedelic nature of Williamson's statements. Many of them felt more like whispery revelations delivered by your sage-burning, salt-lamp-owning stoner friend during the deep sea episode of Planet Earth rather than political commentary.
Some thought that acid was more apropos. Psychedelic drugs often help people see the invisible lines of love that thread each of us together, so it makes sense that her comments may at least have been inspired by her wild past, if she didn't ingest a hallucinogenic mushroom right before getting onstage.
4. In spite of her oddness, she actually had some good points.
Some people were all in.
Still, since she has literally no political experience and seemingly few plans aside from believing in dreams until they become reality, she's probably not the best pick.
5. She is definitely a witch.
Among her many talents and roles on this illusory earth, Williamson is a practicing New Age witch.
For anyone unable to sense the emanations of Williamson's powers, all you need to do is listen to some Stevie Nicks, watch American Horror Story: Coven, and take a few sips of kombucha; you'll see the power just waiting to burst out of her crown chakra and into our corporeal plane.
Some people saw her more as an exorcist than a witch.
There are also indications that she may be an alien.
Regardless of the exact type of power she possesses, she certainly has some otherworldly control over the invisible forces that bind us together, and she has promised to use them all on Trump.
6. She was Laura Dern's roommate in college.
Laura Dern is an actress who starred in David Lynch's film Blue Velvet. Yes, the same David Lynch who created Mulholland Drive and Twin Peaks. When they were 17, Williamson and Dern lived together for a brief period of time.
Perhaps Williamson told Dern, who then told Lynch, about the demons that exist in a parallel universe but sometimes enter ours through a red room with a checkered floor. Perhaps BOB has possessed Trump. Perhaps Williamson is the only one with the power to stop him. Perhaps she will dream of her next move tonight.
7. She may or may not be a new queer icon.
Queer folks tend to love a performative queen. Since it's still Pride Month, Williamson picked the perfect time to unveil her kooky, starry-eyed persona to the gays who had no idea what they were missing before she came to pour peppermint oil on America's spiritual wounds.
Some proposed that she embodied that elusive, much-critiqued Met Gala theme: camp. Since camp is defined by a kind of fundamental absurdity performed seriously, or as a humorously deviant refusal to comply with 'straight' norms, Williamson's refusal to comply with the norms of the 'literal plane' earned her an accidental place in that category.
8. She has a thing for New Zealand.
Williamson may have started out by giving the impression that she is cognizant of the world around her, but by the end of the debate, her edible had fully kicked in. This became clear when she said that the first thing she would do as President is call New Zealand. Perhaps she meant to indicate that she would enact stricter gun laws, like that nation's Prime Minister did after their first mass shooting, but it came off more like she knows that the portal that will lead us to the holy grail is a mile north of Wellington, and as president she will finally have the ability to send troops into the center of the earth to find the crystal that will grant us eternal departure from the cycles of reality.
9. Her presence instantly led to calls for a Kate McKinnon impersonation.
Later, it happened. Needless to say, this won her even more points with the gays.
10. She's an AVATAR stan.
Remember the James Cameron film—the one about the humans that go try to colonize a planet of weirdly attractive blue people? It seems like Williamson sees it as the blueprint for the future of the world.
11. Based on 2016, which revealed just how highly America prioritizes a candidate's meme-ability, Williamson may well be the next President of the United States.
If you think about it, the initial response to Trump was somewhat similar to this initial response to Williamson. He became larger-than-life by infiltrating the online world, indoctrinating himself into the wry, cynical sarcasm of Twitter-using millennials everywhere. Similarly, he appeared to be more of a movie character than a real person. In a strange way, Williamson seems to be the product of the same simulation glitch that spawned Trump—though it seems possible that Williamson is the one that uploaded all of us in the first place.
Plus, if Trump's key demographic was everyone who was secretly racist, Williamson's demographic is for everyone who secretly thinks they're a witch who can see auras. Admittedly, the sight of a coven of witches turning neo-Nazis into toads would be deeply satisfying. And for fans of Harry Potter, the idea that love and magic could potentially destroy an evil, undead overlord might ring a few bells.
Of course, Williamson isn't the only one who may have occult ties.
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