Everything That Upset the Internet This Week

What is the web-o-sphere angry about this week? A men’s magazine’s “woman” of the year, a white actor using the N-word to promote his interracial friendship film, and a congresswoman wearing a coat. Here’s everything you need to know.

Serena William’s is GQ’s “WOMAN” of The Year

THE STORY: GQ‘s 2018 Men of the Year issue features four stars on four separate covers: Jonah Hill, Michael B. Jordan, Henry Golding and tennis icon Serena Williams. On Williams’ cover, the word MEN is crossed out and replaced with “WOMAN”—quotations included—in what’s designed to look like handwritten black sharpie.

THE REACTION:

RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE RAGE: There’s a whole lot of context needed here. First of all, there’s the context of Williams treatment in the media, and the historic attacks (as recently as this year) on her body and her femininity. With this in mind, the editorial design decision can be read as misogynistic and racist.

But then there’s the added context of the text’s designer, Virgil Abloh, the Off White turned Louis Vuitton menswear designer known for putting everything from “SHOE” to “DESK” in quotations. Abloh and Williams are two of the most powerful African American figures in contemporary culture, and they have a close working relationship, having collaborated on that iconic Off White Nike US Open tutu. It seems unlikely that Abloh had any ill intention in adding his signature quotations around “WOMAN”— and it’s unlikely that this cover was designed without the direct approval from Williams and her team.

Viggo Mortensen uses the N-Word during Green Book panel

THE STORY: During a Q&A following a Film Independent Presents screening of Green Book, Peter Farrelly’s new film about an interracial friendship, Viggo Mortensen, seated beside costar Mahershala Ali, used the N-word while speaking about racial progress in America.“For instance, no one says n— anymore,” Mortensen said, per The Hollywood Reporter, as an example of speech that’s no longer common in conversation.

THE REACTION:

RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE RAGE: Yes, he was wrong. Here’s what he had to say about it:

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Perhaps more important than the apology itself is Ali’s response: “However well-intended or intellectual the conversation may have been, it wasn’t appropriate for Viggo to say the n-word. He has made it clear to me that he’s aware of this, and apologized profusely immediately following the Q&A with Elvis Mitchell. Knowing his intention was to express that removing the n-word from your vocabulary doesn’t necessarily disqualify a person as a racist or participating in actions or thoughts that are bigoted, I can accept and embrace his apology.”

Alexandria Cortez-Ocasio wears a nice coat

THE STORY: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who during the midterm elections became the youngest woman ever elected to congress, has spoken openly of her financial struggles. Just last week, the 29-year-old made a statement millennials everywhere could relate to when she said she would have a difficult time paying rent before picking up her first pay cheque in January.

Conservative critics have are trying to paint such statements as disingenuous. “Hill staffer sent me this pic of Ocasio-Cortez they took just now,” Washington Examiner reporter Eddie Scarry wrote on Twitter, sharing an unsolicited photo of the congresswoman from behind. “I’ll tell you something: that jacket and coat don’t look like a girl who struggles.”

THE REACTION:

RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE RAGE: The greatest way to make fun of a misogynistic loser is to meme his absurd quote across the Internet. Of course, Ocasio-Cortez made sure she had the final word: