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Everything That Upset the Internet This Week

What is the web-o-sphere angry about this week? A pop star who claimed her lyrics will solve racism, the meaning behind the MAGA hat and a Latina actress who’s being called “anti-black.” Here’s everything you need to know.

Ariana Grande Responds to “7 Rings” Backlash With a Fan Comment

THE STORY: Everyone from 2 Chainz to Soulja Boy to Princess Nokia has taken issue with the lyrics, beat and video for “7 Rings,” Ariana Grande’s recently released single about popping Champagne, splurging at Tiffany’s and being unapologetically rich.

“Does that sound familiar to you? ‘Cause that sound really familiar to me. Oh my god!” Princess Nokia said in a since-deleted video. “Ain’t that the lil’ song I made about brown women and their hair? Hmm… sounds about white.”

Grande then (seemingly in response) reposted a fan’s Instagram Story about why the “7 Rings” hair lyric—’You like my hair? Gee, thanks, just bought it…’—was justified: “White women talking about their weaves is how we’re gonna solve racism,” wrote the Instagram user. Grande added that she had “so much love” for the fan, finishing the sentiment with a signature Ari black heart emoji.

Grande’s story was quickly taken down—but not before it was screen capped and shared across the web.

THE REACTION:

RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE RAGE: Grande slid into the comments section of The Shade Room’s post, leaving a heartfelt apology. “Hi hi,” she wrote. “I think her intention was to be like… yay a white person disassociating the negative stariotype [sic] that is paired with the word ‘weave’… however I’m so sorry my response was out of pocket or if it came across the wrong way. Thanks for opening the conversation and like… to everyone for talking to me about it. It’s never my intention to offend anybody.”

A quick delete, apology and statement of appreciation for the communal conversation when she missteps—she has this whole backlash response thing down to a formula, doesn’t she? Besides, was there really ever any doubt that Ariana Grande’s hair is real…

Fox News Compares Judging MAGA Hat to Blaming Rape Victims’ Outfits

THE STORY: So you know those MAGA hat-wearing Kentucky teens who taunted an indigenous elder at a Washington protest? Of course you do. They’ve been the centre of the news cycle for the past week: the clip went viral, different narratives were spun on each side of the political spectrum and Nicholas Sandmann, “The MAGA Hat Boy,” was invited to share his non-apology on the Today Show. And then, Fox News’ The Five hopped in on the conversation to state that judging these young boys based on their Trump-affiliated merch is comparable to judging a victim of sexual assault based on their outfit at the time of the crime.

“What kills me is the idea [that], if you’re wearing something, you had it coming. We’ve learned that that’s not what you say to people,” said host Greg Gutfeld.

THE REACTION:

RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE RAGE: The commentators are right on one thing: you should never judge a woman’s choice of clothing when a violent crime is committed against her. What they’ve done here, however, is set up a false equivalence. The MAGA hat is not a meaningless piece of apparel—and as far as I’ve heard, a mini skirt or tube top isn’t widely perceived to express hateful views towards marginalized people. (A Zara jacket with the words “I REALLY DON’T CARE, DO U?” scrawled on the back, however, shares its message loud and clear.)

When people put on that red cap, they know the message they’re sending. It’s really no different than any other baseball hat: when you’re wearing a blue Maple Leaf on your forehead, you’re signalling to those around you that, for whatever reason, you’re a fan of Toronto’s hockey team. Wearing a MAGA hat aligns you with the president’s exclusionist policies and hateful rhetoric, and if you’re putting one on, you should know that—even if you’re a 17-year-old high school student.

Gina Rodriguez Addresses Accusations of Being Anti-Black With Tears

THE STORY: Back in November, Porter‘s “Women in Television” roundtable with actresses Gina Rodriguez, Gabrielle Union, Ellen Pompeo, and Emma Roberts went viral online. Pompeo was praised for calling out the lack of diversity in the room, while Rodriguez caught heat for commenting on the intersectional aspect of the gender pay gap in America.

“White women get paid more than black women, black women get paid more than Asian women, Asian women get paid more than Latina women,” Rodriguez said. “It’s like a very scary space to step into.”

Her statement sparked backlash, with many accusing the Golden Globe-winning Jane the Virgin star of being “anti-black” and pitting POC women against one another. Months later, during an appearance on Sway in the Morning, she broke down into tears as addressed the controversy.

“The backlash was devastating, to say the least,” said Rodriguez. “The black community was the only community I looked towards growing up. We didn’t have many Latino shows and the black community made me feel like I was seen. So to get anti-black is to say I’m anti-family.”

THE REACTION:

RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE RAGE: Cancel culture is toxic, and it pushes people to become defensive. But regardless of intention, Rodriguez’s words hurt, and she should have done was listened to that and taken accountability for her comments—rather than making excuses.

“Gina Rodriguez is really really really really ignorant, socially unaware, dismissive with black issues, and entitled,” writes Twitter user @culieatumami, “BUT I don’t think she’s necessarily hateful. I think she needs to talk less and listen more.”