Celebrity feuds are nothing new in the entertainment industry. From rap battles to shade throwing, fans often enjoy watching their favorite stars clash on social media or in their music. But sometimes, these feuds can cross the line and become harmful, not only to the celebrities involved, but also to their fans and the people around them.
One recent example of this is the ongoing feud between Nicki Minaj and Megan Thee Stallion, two of the most popular and influential female rappers in the world. The feud started last year, when Megan collaborated with Cardi B, Nicki’s longtime rival, on the hit song “WAP”. Nicki, who felt betrayed by Megan, started to throw subtle jabs at her in her songs and interviews. Megan, who claimed to respect both Nicki and Cardi, tried to stay out of the drama, but things escalated last week, when Nicki released a new track called “Hiss”, in which she mocked Megan for being shot in the foot by Tory Lanez in 2020.
The song sparked outrage among Megan’s fans, who accused Nicki of being insensitive and disrespectful to a fellow female artist and a victim of violence. Nicki’s fans, on the other hand, defended her right to express herself and her frustration with Megan. The feud became a trending topic on social media, with many people taking sides and arguing over who was right and who was wrong.
But the feud also caught the attention of an unexpected person: Sergio Kletnoy, the entertainment director of Vogue magazine. Kletnoy, who is responsible for booking celebrities for interviews and photoshoots, joined Nicki’s Instagram Live on Friday, where she discussed her new song and dissed Megan. Kletnoy commented with several foot emojis and wrote, “Not ‘fragment foot’ lol not even a whole foot?”¹, seemingly making light of Megan’s shooting and echoing Nicki’s insults.
Kletnoy’s comments did not go unnoticed by the fans, who quickly called him out for his unprofessional and insensitive behavior. Many people demanded that he be fired from Vogue, or at least apologize to Megan. They also pointed out the hypocrisy of Kletnoy, who works for a magazine that claims to celebrate and empower women, but mocks and disrespects one of them. Some people also questioned his credibility and integrity as a journalist, who is supposed to be objective and unbiased, but clearly favors one celebrity over another.
Kletnoy, who has since made his Instagram account private, issued an apology on Saturday, saying that he is a huge music lover and a fan of both Nicki and Megan, and that he never meant to mock or insult anyone. He said that his comments were taken the wrong way, and that he was just excited to hear a new song from one of his favorite artists². He asked for forgiveness and said that he learned from his mistake.
But is his apology enough? And what does his involvement in the feud reveal about the dark side of celebrity feuds? Here are some of the possible implications:
- Celebrity feuds can have real-life consequences. While some feuds are harmless and entertaining, others can be dangerous and traumatic. Megan’s shooting was a serious and violent incident, that left her physically and emotionally scarred. Nicki’s mockery of her injury was not only disrespectful, but also potentially triggering and retraumatizing for Megan and other victims of gun violence. Kletnoy’s comments added insult to injury, and showed a lack of empathy and compassion for Megan’s situation. Celebrity feuds can also affect the careers and reputations of the celebrities involved, as well as the people around them. Kletnoy’s comments put his job and his relationship with Vogue at risk, and damaged his credibility and trustworthiness as a journalist. He also alienated and offended many of his readers and followers, who may not want to support him or his magazine anymore.
- Celebrity feuds can influence public opinion and behavior. Celebrities have a lot of power and influence over their fans and the general public. They can shape the culture, the trends, and the values of the society. They can also inspire, educate, and motivate their fans to do good things, or to do bad things. When celebrities feud, they can influence their fans to take sides, to defend them, or to attack their opponents. They can also influence their fans to adopt their views, their attitudes, and their actions. This can create a toxic and divisive environment, where people are more likely to hate, judge, and bully each other, rather than respect, understand, and support each other. Kletnoy’s comments, for example, may have influenced some of his fans to join him in mocking Megan, or to dismiss her pain and trauma. They may have also influenced some of his fans to support Nicki, or to ignore her problematic behavior.
- Celebrity feuds can distract from the real issues and problems. Celebrity feuds can be entertaining and engaging, but they can also be distracting and misleading. They can divert the attention and the resources from the real issues and problems that affect the celebrities, their fans, and the society. They can also create a false sense of reality, where the celebrities and their fans are more concerned about their personal dramas and conflicts, than about the bigger and more important matters. For example, Nicki and Megan’s feud may have distracted them and their fans from the issues of gun violence, women’s rights, and Black empowerment, that affect them and their communities. It may have also distracted them and their fans from the issues of COVID-19, climate change, and social justice, that affect the whole world. Kletnoy’s comments may have distracted him and his fans from the issues of journalism ethics, media responsibility, and cultural sensitivity, that affect his profession and his industry.
In conclusion, celebrity feuds are not always fun and games. They can have serious and negative impacts on the celebrities, their fans, and the society. Kletnoy’s apology, while necessary, is not sufficient to undo the damage that he and Nicki caused to Megan and to themselves. They need to do more than just say sorry. They need to take responsibility for their actions, and to make amends for their mistakes. They also need to learn from their experience, and to avoid repeating it in the future. Celebrity feuds can be avoided, or at least resolved, if the celebrities and their fans practice more respect, empathy, and kindness towards each other, and focus more on the positive and productive aspects of their art and their lives.
Vogue Director Apologizes For Chiming In On Megan/Nicki Feud – The Root. https://www.theroot.com/white-vogue-magazine-director-slams-megan-thee-stallion-1851212754
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