In case you weren't aware that 2016 is indeed the Year of Petty, this week was rife with not one, not two, but three petty Twitter beefs. There was also some cultural appropriation, irrelevant pop star antics, and white mansplaining to round out this week's edition of Delete Your Account.
DUSTIN LANCE BLACK
Remember the Oscars? Yeah, Leo finally won a golden statue after 25 years of indentured servitude to Hollywood, but something far more important happened — Dustin Lance Black came for Sam Smith's scalp. Sam won an Oscar for Best Song on Sunday because that's the only part of Spectre people remember before they fall asleep. And since he's been dabbling in a career as a gay historian, Smith decided to share with the audience that he was the first openly gay man to win an Oscar. If Neil Patrick Harris had been hosting that year instead of Chris Rock, maybe he could have sashayed across the stage to whisper in Sam's ear that he was making a fool of himself. Unfortunately for Sam, it was the Internet that got to him first.
Specifically, it was screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, via Twitter. Black won an Oscar for writing Milk -- a fact he quickly reminded Sam of, right before he also told Sam to stop texting his barely-above-the-drinking-age-in-the–United States fiancé Tom Daley. Let's examine exactly how far into the depths of petty Dustin traveled for his response, shall we? A lot of people rode in on their high horses to inform Sam who the first openly gay man to win an Oscar actually was, but Dustin is the only person who decided to mention, like, the tenth person to win one. Hordes of openly gay men won Oscars long before Dustin wrote a screenplay for El Chapo's best friend Sean Penn to star in. But Dustin wanted to make sure we all remembered that he won an Oscar.
Sis, no one was talking to you. This is like reminding your family that you cooked a really good Thanksgiving dinner last year while everyone is busy trading memories of your late great-grandmother's cooking. And beyond that, the gall of telling Sam "don't text my man" is beyond wild. Dustin later took back his trifling comments and claimed that he was only reminding Sam that he's friends with Tom, and should therefore know that Tom's paramour is an Oscar winner, but you don't blast someone on Twitter and use the words "stop texting my fiancé." You know what you were doing, Dustin. You sent all of Gay Twitter flocking into Sam's mentions to drag him, then you innocently went, "My bad." But maybe he took his petty comments back because he realized that in an effort to drag Sam, he played himself. If you ever find yourself in the position of having to tell someone to stop texting your man, maybe you should think about the fact that your man has yet to exercise the block function on his iPhone.
Should Dustin Delete His Account? Dustin got so much praise for his tweet, only to undercut it the next day with a weak-ass apology. Delete your account and go write a movie or something. You want to learn how to really be petty on Twitter and own it? Look no further than Queen Shonda Rhimes, who dragged Stacey Dash's Oscars appearance even more than I did.
Speaking of Samuel Frederick Smith, he tried to explain away his Oscar speech by claiming he was only attempting to "shine a light" on the LGBT community. Hmmm. You know that if you want to educate a community, you should probably be ... I don't know, educated yourself? Google would've been the first step.
Should Sam Delete His Account? I'd say yes, but he already did my job for me and claimed he's taking a hiatus from Twitter.
Of course, we all know that Iggy Azalea's self-imposed Twitter hiatus lasted all of five seconds, so I'll take this with a grain of salt.
For some reason, white people really love making covers of Beyoncé's "Formation" and Rihanna's "Work." Even though the former is a song about embracing one's blackness and the second is Rihanna singing in Bajan patois, a dialect I'm 200 percent positive no white person recording an acoustic cover for YouTube has ever spoken in. Every black person on the Internet has begged and pleaded for white people to just stop and maybe cover a Tori Kelly or Heidi Montag song.
But that didn't stop Joe Jonas and his new band DNCE! Previously the hottest Jonas until his brother Nick came along and started pandering to a gay fan base, Joe had to do something to get the attention back on him and his musical endeavors. A guest appearance in Grease Live! was a good move. Recording a cover of "Work" was decidedly not the move.
Joe. Pretty, pretty Joe. Chill out with the cultural appropriation, OK? You're hot and you can actually sing. Go and do that.
Should DNCE Delete Their Account? Delete the video and give us an original one, preferably with Joe not wearing a shirt.
Kanye West, our resident star of Delete Your Account, returns despite my urging him for the last four weeks to delete his entire social media presence. But the person I'm focusing on this week is his latest sparring partner, Deadmau5. Kanye uploaded a photo of his computer that seemed to reveal that he was using torrent site The Pirate Bay to download Serum, music software from Xfer Records, a company co-founder by Deadmau5. Deadmau5 rightly called out Kanye for trying to illegally download software that he could easily afford (or maybe not) in a rather tame tweet. But let's also take the time to reflect on the fact that merely calling someone a "dick" is tame when it comes to Hollywood Twitter beefs. Thankfully, Kanye is always there when you need a situation escalated.
This might actually be the first time I've laughed at a Kanye tweet in weeks. Raise your hand if you haven't pronounced Deadmau5 as "dead-mow-five," because I'm pretty sure we all have. The genius of Kanye's shade here is that people quickly assumed Kanye didn't remember meeting Deadmau5 when the Forefathers of Tidal gathered to sign the Declaration of Dependence to Jay Z. But he clearly did. And he kept going.
Naturally, Deadmau5 responded, but ... man. This is why we never let straight white men anywhere near shade. Kanye then asks Deadmau5 to perform at North's birthday party because she loves Minnie Mouse. Deadmau5 responded with:
Hmm. OK. That's not really funny, which tells me that this entire exchange actually upset Deadmau5. Or maybe he's just not good at dragging people online. The issue here is that while he has legitimate reasons to be upset with Kanye (well, "legit"), Kanye's responses are much funnier than any of his and therefore there's no reason to care about Deadmau5's actual grievances. Then we have the issue of his second response:
The dog whistling involved in calling a black man uneducated comes off as mildly racist, even if it's not your intent. Whatever you have to say about Kanye, he's actually pretty intelligent. And even if you don't think so, his debut album was called The College Dropout, so it's obvious he's at least set foot on a college campus.
Should Deadmau5 Delete His Account? Probably, if only because every time I see his account I think it's Danger Mouse and then I miss projects like The Grey Album and get sad. See what you've done to me, Dead-Mow-Five?
How desperate for relevance in the current pop culture landscape do you have to be to publicly support the hatemongering racist who's currently running for president? Exactly what fan base is Nick Carter's less successful brother attempting to build here?
Should Aaron Delete His Account? Who?
The entire situation surrounding the Nina Simone biopic is unfortunate and disappointing. You come across feeling offended for a black cultural icon being whitewashed and you end up feeling sorry for Zoe Saldana, who only wanted to honor Nina and ended up embroiled in a controversy. Granted, feeling sorry for Zoe still doesn't mean you can't cackle at this petty tweet from the Simone estate, because it is absolutely ethering.
I mean ... damn. Damn. DAMN. That's a cold-ass tweet. If you wanted to defend Zoe against that tweet, I wouldn't even be mad at you. Because while it's really fucking funny, it's also so incredibly nasty and rude that it's hard to defend. But no, when Judd Apatow decided to tweet about the Nina controversy, he wasn't doing it in an attempt to defend Zoe. He was speaking up simply because white men love to offer their unsolicited opinions on everything that doesn't involve them. Apparently a graduate of the Sam Smith School of Googling, Judd didn't bother to figure out why people were upset with the Nina biopic. Rather than read any nuanced take on the situation and why the erasure of dark-skinned black women in Hollywood is so painful, he thought it better to tweet a pithy joke for his white fans.
Should Judd Delete His Account? Yeah, and stop using hip-hop music to soundtrack your damn movies when you can't even be bothered to cast a black person in a leading role in one of them.