Delete Your Account is a weekly column that takes the hot air out of celebrities, the media, and their social media shenanigans. Every Friday, I will decide whether each perpetrator should delete their accounts and never grace the internet again. This week, the reporting on Casey Affleck's sexual-assault allegations needs to do less, Arianna Huffington has lost her damn mind, Brandy is still petty as hell, and a wizard war is brewing and it's not even at Hogwarts.
I understand the urge to make Casey Affleck's sexual-harassment allegations about Nate Parker, I really do. But I urge you to do less. I get it: Hollywood is racist. And there are different standards for black people than there are for white people — it's why Parker was dragged in a way that Woody Allen and Roman Polanski (the latter embraced by Hollywood despite fleeing the country to avoid rape charges) never had been. I understood this as I wrote at length about Parker's rape accusations and how in large part, his undoing was of his own volition. Parker gave multiple interviews about the rape charges, each one increasingly more insensitive than the one before. Affleck, on the other hand, settled these charges out of court and labeled them extortion attempts and refuses to talk about them with the media. Parker's case is based on the fact that he was not convicted of rape because he had a previous sexual history with the victim, but his friend Jean Celestin was convicted (it was later overturned). Also, Parker's case has an eyewitness who says he was asked to join in the group sex with the intoxicated victim. The cases are quite different, so to say that "amid the uproar over Nate Parker" we are ignoring Affleck's history is a false equivalency.
Furthermore, the argument ignores who held Parker accountable. It was largely black women like Ebony's Britni Danielle who held Parker's feet to the fire. As a community, black women fought against the notion that just because white men were historically able to get away with sexual misconduct in Hollywood did not mean they were going to give Parker a pass. While he might have expressed disappointment in a lack of support from the online black community, solidarity does not extend to sexual assault. Just because his film The Birth of a Nation purported to be important and game-changing at Sundance (reviews after its theatrical release confirmed it wasn't). Just because he spoke feverishly about the state of black Americans in Hollywood and how we needed to champion our own to do better. Parker’s downfall was his vanity and his hypocrisy. But if the black community took Parker to task for his sexual misconduct, then the white community at large needs to do the same. White women in America need to do the same, without equating it to Parker's story. But then again, 53 percent of white women voted for a man who was recorded admitting to sexual assault, so I'm not holding my breath.
Yes, Affleck is a white man starring in some dreary Caucasian melodrama set in Massachusetts. He gets to live by a different set of rules. But that has nothing to do with Parker. We need to get in the habit of holding white men accountable for their actions, regardless of whether we've just recently skewered a black man for his. Grilling Affleck on his past should not be a favor, a quid pro quo because Hollywood took out a hit on Parker. We should strive to ask the necessary questions about Affleck because it's the right thing to do.
But that's easier said than done. Roundtables like those from The Hollywood Reporter favor the safe questions like asking women about the wage gap and asking white actors about diversity, the latter of whom, like Affleck, spout Chipotle bag wisdom like: "As a group of artists, as a community, we have an obligation to try to open doors. But it's really hard to go just from top down. There also have to be arts programs in schools." When's the last time Affleck was in a movie with a non-white lead, while he's out here starring in his brother's unpigmented films like Gone Baby Gone? Don't ask Affleck about race, ask him about how he treats women. And do it because it's your job, not because you feel bad that a black man's movie didn't do well at the box office.
Arianna Huffington has lost her goddamn mind. As first noticed by congressional reporter Joe Perticone, Huffington is out here selling a BED for your PHONE on her lifestyle website Thrive Global. Like, an actual tiny bed she swiped from the American Girl store and decided to sell as a way to "unplug" and not check your phone till morning. You know you can just turn your phone off, right? You don't have to give Huffington $100 that she won't actually use to pay her writers at The Huffington Post?
And y'all wanna drag my girl Gwyneth Paltrow over Goop. Paltrow would never. A phone bed? She'd have some lavender phone-safe liquid for you to submerge your phone in so it can charge and renew in the middle of the night, not a piece of furniture Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH sleep on.
Who is really out here looking for lifestyle advice from Huffington, anyway? She's been pushing the same "you should sleep more" claptrap for years, as if people don't already know they're tired. That's what the cocaine is for, girl. People have too much work to do and too little time to do it in and also Kellyanne Conway is probably lurking in all of our dreams to kill us like she did the rest of the children on Elm Street. If the crux of your new lifestyle website is telling people to sleep, just go buy some Tempur-Pedic stock and call it a day.
SHOULD ARIANNA DELETE HER WEBSITE? Sorry. There's only room for one icy blonde's lifestyle bathos on the internet, Huffington.
Wow, a heartfelt interview with Monica about how much Whitney Houston meant to her. How could anyone possibly make a negative out of that?
You haven't met Brandy then, have you?
Brandy already graced Delete Your Account back in September when she threw shade at the #SoGoneChallenge on Twitter, in which Monica fans recorded their covers of her 2003 single "So Gone." On that occasion, I took the time to explain the 20-year feud between Brandy and Monica that's been largely one-sided. It all began in 1998 when the two came to blows backstage at the MTV Video Music Awards:
In May 1998, Brandy and Monica released the single "The Boy Is Mine." It was the lead single for both of their second albums (Never Say Never for Brandy, and, just so you remember that the single is on her album, The Boy Is Mine for Monica). The song, which is about two women feuding over the ancestor of a $200 date Twitter fuckboy, made people wonder if maybe the women actually did hate each other, because all songs are autobiographical, right? But as it turned out, they did. Monica confirmed that it wasn't over a boy, however, and both singers revealed on Hot 97 that Monica actually laid hands on Brandy backstage at the 1998 MTV Video Music Awards. Taking a close look at the performance, you can see there's so much shade dripping from Brandy's face that you might start to think she's the one who put that body in Dorian Corey's closet.
At any rate, Monica doesn't really seem to give a damn about any of this, which makes Brandy's continued shading of her so fucking petty. Why did you need to put up an Instagram calling Whitney your real #FairyGodMother? We all saw Cinderella, sis.
Brady's pettiness isn't really funny anymore. At this point, it's troubling. Why is she so obsessed with Monica instead of releasing a new damn album? And if she doesn't want to do that, can we at least escalate this feud from childish pettiness to something more tabloid-worthy? Can Brandy at least try to run Monica over with her car or something? Damn.
SHOULD BRANDY DELETE HER ACCOUNT? Who Is Monica 2 U? Log off, beloved.
In other one-sided feuds, Criss Angel is determined to let you know that David Copperfield is a fraud and a lesser magician than he is. He's been incessantly tweeting about being named Best Magic Show in 2016 by In Vegas Magazine, which I'm sure exists and is real, and I've probably vomited on it at 4 a.m. outside Planet Hollywood at some point. But Forbes doesn't give a fuck about In Vegas Magazine. It named Copperfield the highest-paid magician of 2016 and Angel is PRESSED.
In case you were missing Arrested Development, this is a Gob story line playing out in real life. Copperfield does not seem to care about any of this and doesn't bother engaging with Angel. Meanwhile, Angel seems to be tweeting nonstop about his alleged adversary. To be fair, Copperfield does have over 2 million fake followers.
But I'm trying to imagine a world where someone is really checking for how many Twitter followers David Copperfield has in the first place and I am drawing a blank. It seems Angel does, however, so he will continue to whip out his fantastic wand and tell you where to find it as long as Forbes denies him his true place as the No. 1 magician in all the land. I'd say this is all utter nonsense, but it did alert me to Angel's rather stunning Twitter avatar. Who knew he was so hot without his stupid makeup and The Crow haircut? This is the real news here.
SHOULD CRISS DELETE HIS ACCOUNT? Abracadeleteit.