Tác giả

Lady Gaga On Mental Health Issues After Sexual Assault

Neilson Barnard / Getty Images

“I was 19 years old, and I was working in the business, and a producer said to me, ‘Take your clothes off,'” she recalled. “And I said no. And I left, and they told me they were going to burn all of my music.”

“And they didn’t stop. They didn’t stop asking me, and I just froze and I—I don’t even remember.”

Gaga later mentioned that she was pregnant after the assault while discussing the lasting pain and trauma she went through afterwards.

“First I felt full-on pain, then I went numb. And then I was sick for weeks and weeks and weeks and weeks after, and I realized that it was the same pain that I felt when the person who raped me dropped me off pregnant on a corner. At my parents’ house because I was vomiting and sick. Because I’d been being abused. I was locked away in a studio for months.”

Gaga also discussed how she experienced a “psychotic break” that was still happening when she won the Oscar for A Star Is Born in 2019.

“For a couple years, I was not the same girl. The way that I feel when I feel pain was how I felt after I was raped. I’ve had so many MRIs and scans where they don’t find nothing. But your body remembers.”

Gaga also discusses the process of healing and how she “learned all the ways to pull myself out of it”: “It all started to slowly change.”

Check out The Me You Can’t See on Apple TV+ on May 21 for Gaga’s entire interview.

If you or someone you know has experienced sexual assault, you can call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE, which routes the caller to their nearest sexual assault service provider. You can also search your local center here.

BuzzFeed Daily

Keep up with the latest daily buzz with the BuzzFeed Daily newsletter!


Prince Harry Opened Up About Using Drugs And Alcohol To Cope After Princess Diana's Death
People Are Getting Real About The Annoying Parts Of Having A Vagina, And Personally, I Feel Seen
Tác giả

Tác giả

Tác giả

Amazon’s Ring Always Home Cam Flies Around Your House

On Thursday, Amazon announced three new Ring devices — a car alarm, a car camera, and a flying drone camera that automatically flies to parts of your house to monitor it (seriously).

The car alarm, which costs $59.99 and works with “99% of cars,” according to Amazon, sits inside your automobile to watch out for break-ins, tows, and more. If it detects something, it will send a notification to your phone.

The car cam, which costs $199.99, will also monitor for break-ins just like the alarm, but has high-definition cameras that can record whatever’s happening too. You can view that footage live on your phone. And if you’re pulled over, say “Alexa, I’m being pulled over” to automatically get it to start recording video.

The flying drone cam, which Amazon calls the Ring Always Home Cam, costs $249 and literally flies around your house to record footage. Amazon says that when it’s not flying, it sits in a dock and the camera is physically blocked for privacy.

Amazon also unveiled a new version of the Echo, the Echo Show 10. The Echo’s screen, which was previously locked in place, is now able to follow customers around their home. “While you’re interacting with Alexa, the device uses these sound localization and computer vision models to triangulate in and turn the screen directly to face you. Alexa is not identifying a specific person, just a human shape. And again, all of this is happening on-device,” Amazon wrote in a blog post.

The Echo Show 10 can act as a remote camera — allowing people to check in on pets or children — as well as periodically sweeping the room automatically. The device also now includes group calls, with support for Skype currently offered and with Zoom being added later this fall.

Amazon also announced a new command for Alexa: “Alexa, delete everything I’ve ever said.”

There’s also more new stuff — a new cloud gaming service called Luna that will let you stream games directly without installing them first, a new Fire TV Stick, and the ability to plug in a webcam to a Fire TV Cube if you own one of those for video conferencing on the big screen. Head over to Amazon’s blog to read more.

And oh, the Echo speaker doesn’t look like a fat soda can anymore. It looks like an orb.

Facebook Messenger Can Send You Instagram DMs
15 Times Men Were Extremely Confused By Women
Tác giả

Facebook Messenger Can Send You Instagram DMs

Starting this week, Instagram will allow people on Facebook to DM you, and vice versa. This step is the first in Facebook’s broader plan for a unified messaging system, where people can message across Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. The Instagram update will include a few additional features (selfie stickers! custom backgrounds! ephemeral-but-not-encrypted messages!) for a more Messenger-y experience.

If you are recoiling in horror at the idea of Facebook contacts messaging you on Instagram, you are probably not alone. Plenty of people have very different identities and personal expressions across apps, and very good reasons to want to keep them separate. Depending on the person, the consequences of allowing Facebook and Instagram contacts to mix could range from mild embarrassment to serious harm.

For now, it’s possible to opt out of the cross-platform update completely (though this means you won’t get the other minor bonus features for Instagram DM). Even if you opt in to the update, there are customizable controls where you can block all Facebook chats if you want. However, this is opt-out, and the settings are three pages deep within the “Privacy” settings of Instagram. By default, Messenger users will be able to send DMs to your Instagram.

However, if you had hopes that your Instagram and Facebook accounts were totally separate, the horse is out of the barn. If you have your accounts connected at all, you already probably see Facebook friends being suggested to you on Instagram. A Gizmodo investigation showed how Facebook has long been able to piece together your contacts based on “shadow profiles,” using contact info from phones and address books to suggest “People You May Know.” You’ve probably noticed acquaintances who aren’t even your Facebook friends show up in your Instagram suggestions for people to follow; this is why.

According to Instagram, cross-platform messaging is solving a common user problem: 1 out of 3 people surveyed have trouble remembering which messaging platform they had a particular conversation on. Of course, this solution to a user problem also benefits Facebook, which is eager to blur the lines between their apps. Unclear what percentage of people would NOT want Facebook people messaging them on Instagram — that is, if it’s more or fewer than the 1 out of 3 who would be helped by cross-platform messaging.

Ultimately, like all other minor encroachments on privacy, this change might seem horrifying at first, and then you’ll get used to it, and then the next, even-more-invasive thing will come along, the Overton window having been shifted enough for you not to be so surprised.

This new feature doesn’t change user privacy in terms of ads or user data or even who can see your profile or photos. It’s a change to your perceived privacy, in terms of whom you expected to see your account or try to talk to you. According to a 2019 Pew Research Center report, only 29% of Americans know that Facebook owns Instagram — so this new cross-platform messaging will likely come as a surprise. Whether or not those people will view this as a great convenience or a creepy intrusion, well, idk.

Paytm, MakeMyTrip, GOQii And Other Indian Startups Want To Build An Indian App Store To Bypass The Google Play Store
Amazon’s Ring Always Home Cam Flies Around Your House
Tác giả

Paytm, MakeMyTrip, GOQii And Other Indian Startups Want To Build An Indian App Store To Bypass The Google Play Store

Dozens of prominent startups in India, one of the world’s largest internet markets, are creating a coalition to fight a Google decision that would require them to give 30% of in-app payments to the tech giant beginning next year.

On Tuesday, nearly 60 executives from dozens of Indian companies kicked off preliminary discussions, three people familiar with the talks told BuzzFeed News.

The coalition, which will include multibillion-dollar companies like payments giant Paytm, online ticketing firm MakeMyTrip, and local social networks like ShareChat among others, wants to fight Silicon Valley’s increasing influence on the Indian internet, lobby the Indian government on behalf of homegrown startups, and set up an Indian app store as an alternative way to the Google Play store.

Last month after Google pulled Paytm, a payment app used by more than 350 million people and India’s highest-valued startup at over $16 billion, from the Play store, its billionaire founder and CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma expressed displeasure about an American company controlling access to customers in India. “No foreign company should control the destiny of Indian startups,” he said in an interview.

Sharma did not respond to a request for comment from BuzzFeed News.

The move spooked Indian startups and raised questions about how much control Google had over the country’s internet.

Around the world, developers have pushed back against Apple and Google, accusing them of using their monopolies over the App Store and the Google Play store to collect unreasonable commissions.

Last week, Epic Games, the maker of Fortnite, which both Apple and Google recently kicked off their platforms for bypassing the companies’ payment systems, Spotify, the Match Group, which owns Tinder, and others, launched a nonprofit called the Coalition for App Fairness to push the companies to change their app store policies.

The Indian coalition doesn’t have a name yet and discussions are still in the early stages, according to people with knowledge of the matter, but the spirit is the same. “The form and structure of this coalition is yet to be determined,” Vishal Gondal, founder and CEO of GOQii, a health and fitness startup that plans to be part of the coalition, told BuzzFeed News. “But clearly Google has invited this on itself.”

A Google spokesperson declined to comment.

Unlike the US, where Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS operating systems have roughly equal market share, 99% of smartphones sold in India are powered by Android, according to data by market research agency Counterpoint.

“That’s the whole problem,” said Gondal. Unlike Apple, Google offers a variety of ways to download apps, including letting anyone offer their own app stores on Android. But most people use the Google Play store to download apps because it’s built into their phones.

“There’s essentially no way around the Play store in India,” Snehil Khanor, CEO of TrulyMadly, an Indian dating app that also plans to sign up for the coalition, told BuzzFeed News. “It’s hard to distribute apps outside it.”

More than 500 million Indians have come online over the last few years thanks to inexpensive smartphones and plunging data prices. The explosion of new users has made the country a key growth market for most large Silicon Valley tech companies and birthed a robust startup ecosystem. In 2019, tech startups in India raised $14.5 billion, and in just the last six months, Google and Facebook pumped over $10 billion into the country.

Almost all of India’s internet revolution is powered by Android, which has put Google under government scrutiny. The company is under multiple ongoing antitrust investigations by Indian regulators concerned that it has used its dominance to crush competition and boost its own products and services.

Although the group has not yet put forward any plans, critics say that the only way an alternative store would be successful would be with state backing.

“Hypothetically, it would work if you passed legislation saying that all Android phones sold in India should have this Indian app store built-in,” Aman Nair, policy officer at the Center for Internet and Society, a Bangalore-based technology think tank, told BuzzFeed News.

“But I’d hate to see a Big Tech monopoly replaced with a Big State monopoly.”

Former Central Casting Employees Say Workplace Was Toxic, Failed Hired Actors
Facebook Messenger Can Send You Instagram DMs
Tác giả

Former Central Casting Employees Say Workplace Was Toxic, Failed Hired Actors

Over the course of nearly 100 years, Central Casting has come to dominate the TV and film industry as a major source of employment for thousands of actors across networks, studios, and streaming platforms. But current and former employees say that power has gone unchecked internally, creating what they say is a toxic workplace where complaints of racism, typecasting, and mistreatment are ignored and managers use intimidation and bullying to run the operation.

BuzzFeed News spoke to one current and 11 former employees about their experiences at Central Casting, all of whom wanted to remain anonymous for fear of retribution in the industry. Six employees said they sent a group email to company executives in June about how the company can improve the toxic work environment, took part in a subsequent internal HR investigation, and were then laid off in July and August.

The employees said they were told their jobs were being eliminated due to cuts because of the coronavirus’s impact on the company’s bottom line. But some of them were confused; prior to their email to executives, they said, they were in good standing and even praised for their performance. The layoffs felt targeted, six former employees said, which left people fearful of speaking up.

“Laying off those employees fuels the toxic work environment because it looks like a threat,” the current employee said.

Former employees said it was common for staffers to be yelled at and cry openly in the office at their desk. They also said the company buries complaints it receives from actors about work conditions on set, including sexually inappropriate behavior, as well as getting typecast into certain roles based on their race.

“Central Casting is responsible for the treatment, employment, and facilitation of careers for thousands of people, both in their own company and the people they represent,” one former employee said. “There are people who rely on them, and Central Casting couldn’t care less about what goes on there as long as they are getting their money.”

In a statement, Central Casting’s parent company, Entertainment Partners, said “we are already aware of some of these issues and are taking them seriously.”

“Our company maintains a workplace free of discrimination, harassment and retaliation and follows all applicable equal employment opportunity laws,” the agency said. “We investigate all employee complaints thoroughly, including those issues raised here, and review, evaluate and implement changes as appropriate to ensure a safe, diverse and inclusive workplace that is welcoming to all employees.”

With offices in Los Angeles, New York, Georgia, and Louisiana, the agency is the number one hub for background actors to book gigs. Its website and Instagram account boast credits on hundreds of hit shows, including Grace and Frankie, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Law & Order, Dead to Me, You, American Horror Story, Dear White People, The Morning Show, and This Is Us. The agency also lists Brad Pitt, Kristen Wiig, Eva Longoria, and Tiffany Haddish as some of its famed alumni on its website. As one former employee put it, “If you’re working background in LA, you’re working with Central Casting.”

We want your help! If you have more information or a tip regarding your experience with Central Casting or in Hollywood, contact, or reach us securely at

Background actors opt to be a part of Central Casting’s database, where they are then selected to fill roles on the sets of films and TV shows. Casting directors are then responsible for being the go-between for film and TV productions and the background actors.

But the employees said the same culture of toxicity and indifference they faced on a daily basis in the office affected how Central Casting handled complaints filed by actors about how they were treated on set.

Former employees said it was common for background actors to complain about how they were being typecast into stereotypical roles based on their race. According to the employees, there’s a coded language that’s used to discuss casting actors as “perpetrators, crackheads, and terrorists” and when casting “a main character who goes to school in a ‘rough’ area but lives in ‘a good area.’”

“A lot of Middle Eastern background actors who’ve worked on shows like Homeland and S.W.A.T. would call in [to Central Casting] and be like, ‘I’d love to do other roles; I don’t only want to be a terrorist,’” a former employee said.

One former employee said when they tried to cast interracial couples and Asian Americans for a network TV sitcom, they were told by the production to only hire couples of the same racial background and that they “only want real Asians.” The former employee also said they were told by a white lighting director not to cast “darker-skinned Black actors because they’re harder to light.”

“If your lighting team isn’t good enough to light the whole spectrum of human color, your lighting team needs to be better,” the employee said.

One former employee said they received a number of complaints from actors who worked on prominent showrunner Ryan Murphy’s Hollywood, which started streaming on Netflix in May. After working one day on set, they said, background actors called to cancel for the next day’s shoot because they experienced heat exhaustion and weren’t given enough water or allowed to sit down on set for the entire day.

A Netflix spokesperson said this isn’t true and that the production followed all safety guidelines on set.

Another former employee said they got a complaint about how a main actor on the set of ABC’s Black-ish touched a woman background actor inappropriately and made her uncomfortable.

“There’s a massive power dynamic between background actors and everyone else on set, and these productions shouldn’t be able to get away with this when the productions are names like Ryan Murphy and Black-ish and all these huge shows that have huge followings,” a former employee of Central Casting said.

ABC did not respond to a request for comment.

But when it came to protocols for handling the complaints, former employees said, they were instructed to forward the actors to a voicemail number for a talent relations representative — but the same actors would then call back and say they were frustrated that they never got a response. Former employees said they had also received phone calls about incidents of sexual harassment on set; often, background actors would call Central Casting with complaints because they had never received a response from talent relations.

“I noticed that a lot of people would call back constantly who were scared to death about whatever was happening to them on set, and no one was there to help them,” a former employee said. “It was really hard to get a hold of someone who would do something about these problems.”

According to some former employees, actors were hesitant to report incidents that occurred on set because they were afraid they wouldn’t be hired for future jobs. They were also wary of a rumored “blacklist” for background actors, which former employees said is not real. However, they did say Central Casting knows it’s the main agency in town and uses its position to its advantage.

Typecasting and feeding into racial stereotypes is a larger issue that isn’t exclusive to Central Casting — but as the leading agency for background actors in Hollywood, one former employee said, it still perpetuates typecasting in a big way.

“That’s basically what casting is: playing into these clichés that we all have in our brains about certain situations and how we picture certain types of people. It’s not necessarily Central’s fault, because productions ask for casting breakdowns, and a lot of these issues are because of systemic racism,” one former employee said. “It’s about what everybody’s perception of these things are, and it’s hard to pinpoint where that starts — but in casting it was like, ‘Fill in the cliché as much as you can.’”

But the current and former employees said they were ill-equipped to address the actors’ issues, particularly when they faced their own toxic work environment at the agency’s Burbank offices. They said they didn’t receive support when they were treated poorly by assistant directors because the agency cares more about protecting its relationships with studios and networks.

According to former employees, it was typical to be screamed at by managers in the office, as well as by production members they worked with, while trying to grapple with an excessive workload.

Three former employees said their depression worsened during their time at Central Casting due to work-related stress. One of them said they were reprimanded by a senior executive after taking two consecutive days off for their mental health.

“I got called into her office the following day, and there was no question of, ‘Are you okay? Do you feel okay? What can I do to help?’” the former employee said. “She asked me, ‘Do you like your job?’ That was the question I was met with.”

The employee’s direct manager repeatedly brought up the same point, so they became reluctant to ask for more time off, fearing retribution.

But it wasn’t just a grueling workload and the high-pressure environment. Several former employees said they experienced racism from colleagues that went unaddressed, either because they were afraid to complain, or because their manager refused to do anything.

A Black former employee said they were subjected to “racist microaggressions” in the workplace, like when their white colleagues made fun of Black background actors’ names across the room or compared their hair to those of other actors’ photo submissions.

“It really upset me, but I was always afraid to bring it up,” the former employee said. “I felt like I couldn’t say anything about it. I never thought I could speak up against it.”

Another former employee said when they complained about derogatory comments another casting director made about Latinx people and the Spanish language, an executive brushed it off.

Even if someone wanted to file an official complaint, some former employees said, it wasn’t clear who their human resources representative was, and they didn’t know whom to get in touch with when they wanted to document their issues. Others said they feared retaliation if they went to HR.

“HR was the biggest joke in our office, which was why everyone was so afraid to talk to them,” one former employee said.

A current employee said a lot of TV and film productions have picked up again with new COVID-19 precautions on set — but due to the agency’s layoffs this summer, they feel more overworked than ever.

“It’s just chaos,” the employee said.

Earlier this summer, following the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis and Black Lives Matter protests across the country, former employees at Central Casting were frustrated that the agency wasn’t doing enough to promote racial equity. In June, they sent an email to executives and other colleagues, outlining specific practices they wanted the agency to improve upon.

The proposal, obtained by BuzzFeed News, called for management to hire more people of color into the overwhelmingly white staff, assess pay equality, and implement diversity and inclusion training.

The employees also asked the company to implement nondiscriminatory practices when casting background actors so it doesn’t contribute to racist stereotypes, and also want to “establish a precedent that if any background [actor] is discriminated or harassed on set, [it] will collectively take more initiative to address the issue and develop a clearer record of these aggrievances [sic] with thorough follow-up.”

Former employees said they had conversations with Central Casting executives, an HR representative, and the CEO of Entertainment Partners, where they spoke more about the issues outlined in their email. Two months later, they were laid off.

“I was never written up for anything. I never went to HR with any problems or any issues. I kept it to myself because I knew that if I came forward and spoke up about things that I would face repercussions,” one former employee said. “And I said that to the CEO when we met. I said, ‘I’m terrified of talking to you right now because I knew I would be retaliated against.’”

In its statement, Entertainment Partners said “no employee has been furloughed or lost employment as a result of bringing complaints to the company.”

The company also said Central Casting is in the final stages of retaining outside experts “to help us advance our culture of diversity, equity and inclusion most effectively.”

“We also take seriously the industry issues that have been raised regarding casting and are committed to working with our clients and within the industry to address any issues where they exist and to support the industry’s continued efforts for equitable opportunity for all races, ethnicities, and genders,” the agency added.

At a time when mistreatment in Hollywood has faced a public reckoning, and workplace dynamics on TV and film sets are under greater scrutiny, former Central Casting employees don’t want background actors and casting agencies to be left out of the discourse.

“Hollywood uses background [actors] so much. They make up such an enormous part of the production, and they get treated possibly the worst,” a former employee said. “I know background acting isn’t as visible to people as principal acting, but there are ways we’re perpetuating and contributing to racial stereotypes that could easily be changed.” ●

Walmart Reverses Decision To Pull Guns From Display
Paytm, MakeMyTrip, GOQii And Other Indian Startups Want To Build An Indian App Store To Bypass The Google Play Store
Tác giả

Walmart Reverses Decision To Pull Guns From Display

Walmart on Friday reversed their decision to remove all guns and ammunition displayed on the floor of its stores this week, amid concerns of civil unrest in major cities across the country after the killing of Black people by police.

The major retailer had made a similar move in some of its stores in June because of protests that had turned violent in some cities, citing “an abundance of caution.” This time, though, Walmart removed the weapons and ammo across all US stores where they’re sold.

“We have seen some isolated civil unrest and as we have done on several occasions over the last few years, we have moved our firearms and ammunition off the sales floor as a precaution for the safety of our associates and customers,” the company said a statement on Thursday.

But then on Friday, the company suddenly reversed course.

“As the current incidents have remained geographically isolated,” said a spokesperson, “we have made the decision to begin returning these products to the sales floor today.”

Protests have erupted across the US for months after the killing of Black men and women by police. A wave of protests earlier this year were sparked by the killing of George Floyd in Minnesota and Breonna Taylor in Louisville, but other fatal incidents have continued to fuel protests.

Earlier this week, the streets of Philadelphia were filled with demonstrators after the killing of Walter Wallace Jr. by officers Monday who responded to the family’s call for medical assistance.

The local district attorney’s office, which is reviewing the police shooting, said video of the incident was “concerning” and that officials have raised questions why the officers, and not medical assistance, were dispatched to the home of Wallace’s family.

Protests in Philadelphia have since turned violent at times, with looters targeting stores and banks.

One target for looters Tuesday was a Port Richmond Walmart. Looters were seen carrying clothes and appliances, and according to CBS 3 Philly, ripped boxes of ammunition were also seen abandoned on the ground just outside the store.

Walmart noted it only sells guns and ammunition in about half of its nearly 5,000 stores nationwide.

Walmart’s original decision to pull firearm displays also came as the US is seeing a steep surge in the purchase of guns this year.

Amid an ongoing pandemic, civil unrest in many cities, and worries about an upcoming contentious presidential election, FBI background checks — which are required for the purchase of guns from licensed dealers — increased significantly during the first half of 2020 compared to last year.

According to the FBI, there were more than 9.8 million background checks conducted between January and June of this year. During the same period last year, more than 5.8 million checks were performed.

Black Influencers Are Calling Out Popular Brands For Failing To Address The Deaths Of Unarmed Black People At The Hands Of The Police
Former Central Casting Employees Say Workplace Was Toxic, Failed Hired Actors
Tác giả

Black Influencers Are Calling Out Popular Brands For Failing To Address The Deaths Of Unarmed Black People At The Hands Of The Police

friendly reminder that fashion nova, pretty little thing, and revolve are all “POC” owned brands.

so when black people say BLACK, no we don’t mean POC. we mean black. don’t correct us.


Influencer Jackie Aina has kick-started a campaign on Twitter and Instagram to get popular fast-fashion brands to speak up about the death of George Floyd. The 32-year-old influencer, who has built her platform in the beauty and fashion industry, is known for regularly calling out brands who fail to embrace inclusivity.

In a series of videos she posted to her Instagram story, she said: “As we know there are a lot of brands who love capitalizing on black culture, black aesthetic, but are dead silent when it comes to talking about black issues and black struggles in our community.”

“The memes you guys are posting on your pages are just not gonna cut it. Do more. Don’t just be present when it’s time to be lit, on the gram.”

“So just as much as y’all love hanging out with Ty Dolla $ign, Saweetie, and Blac Chyna, can y’all actually say something when black people are being brutally murdered by cops. Donate to the families affected by this stuff. Revolve, Pretty Little Thing, Fashion Nova. The memes you guys are posting on your pages are just not gonna cut it. Do more. Don’t just be present when it’s time to be lit, on the ‘gram.”

She said she decided to call out these brands specifically because she noticed the aesthetic and the vibe that they have.

BuzzFeed News has reached out to Fashion Nova, Revolve, Pretty Little Thing, and Public Desire for comment.

Aina became the first of many influencers who subsequently began calling out brands who they’ve worked with or are even currently working with.

Alissa Ashley also called out the brands who haven’t been speaking up. She tweeted: “These brands constantly try to be apart of and capitalize off the culture but when real issues arise they are dead silent.”

Makayla London called out Fashion Nova right under a sponsored post she posted last night. She wrote: “Dear @fashionnova, as a brand I signed a long term contract with, advertise and co-sign online, why are you silent during this tragic time in our country? Where is your voice for us when you benefit largely off black influencers?”

Black Twitter began tweeting and commenting on Instagram posts by the brands asking when and if those brands would say something.

Aina responded to one tweet that praised her and said that some of the brands have seen her video critiquing them but ignored the topic. She said: “so there’s no excuse. it’s simply the right thing to do. you lose absolutely nothing contributing to black communities, especially considering how often some of them take.”

Today, some brands did speak up — but not in the way that was expected of them. Both Pretty Little Thing and Public Desire deleted posts that received criticism for the way they were constructed and that were accused of being “tone-deaf.”

Public Desire’s original tribute post to Floyd featured an image edited to include glitter, which drew criticism from people who felt it was done to fit with the company’s Instagram aesthetic.

The edit was created by Sara Shakeel, a crystal artist, who first posted it on her own page. The shoe retailer later deleted the photo and replaced it with an unedited version and apologized to a Twitter user who called them out.

The company tweeted: “We just want to let everyone know that we didn’t mean to offend with our previous post. We’ve acknowledged that this could have been offensive to some. It was an artists work that we felt was a beautiful tribute to George Floyd.”

In a reply to the Twitter user, Public Desire posted this petition, adding that it hadn’t intended to take away from what happened. There’s still no acknowledgment of George Floyd on the company’s main Twitter feed.

Pretty Little Thing posted an image of two people holding hands.

In another tweet, it wrote: “We send our condolences to the families of those tragically and innocently killed and we will do all we can to support the fight against racism. We ask everyone to stand together in this time of need. Let’s fight together, not against each other.”

The tweets left many people confused. The brand deleted the tweets after almost an hour and a half, and there has been nothing posted by the brand since.

@OfficialPLT – no #BlackLivesMatter hashtag
– BLACK hands don’t look like that
– no sign of the petition
– no donations towards the cause.

go back to the drawing board.


Aina updated her followers, sharing that she had been in conversation with Fashion Nova’s CEO and would be following up with the brand.

She responded to criticisms that her campaign was futile, telling her followers: “I cannot fix everything I really can’t, but we can’t deny that the brands I mentioned today are HUGELY influential. That’s why I chose to speak about them today. now I’m waiting to see if they will put their money where their mouths are. This is important to me.”

Similarly, people online have been critical of influencers who have remained silent amid nationwide protesting, particularly those who regularly operate within the black entertainment industry and those who are perceived to have tapped into the culture to build their brand identities.

oh cause i thought the influencers who steal their personalities, looks and ideas from black people said something. my bad. must’ve been the wind.


While some sections of the online community known as Black Twitter called for the input of influencers and brands, others have warned that responses to such demands could end up becoming performative, instead of serving the cause.

Influencer: “this breaks my heart“
Influencer: *ignores a majority of other political & social issues while profiting directly from those communities*
YALL: omg tysm for using your platform!!! It’s so important & I’m so happy you’re talking about it!!! 😻 fav!!!


Critics pointed out the questionable business practices of some of the brands named, which have come under fire for the working conditions for their employees, their environmental impact, and allegedly ripping off smaller black designers.

I hear this but also I feel the posts that are purely performative are of no benefit 🤷🏿‍♀️


Many have taken to the brands’ Instagram comments to let them know that they are disappointed in them and will be returning their items. These are from a Pretty Little Thing Instagram post:

Things Mexican Americans Will Remember About Christmas Growing Up
Walmart Reverses Decision To Pull Guns From Display
Tác giả