As Lainey has mentioned before, Canada doesn’t have a star system like the UK, which produces more Z-listers than Cadbury bars. But we do have a very insular media community and there’s some drama happening. Sasha Exeter, a very popular Toronto influencer was posting about Black Lives Matter and urged others with large number of followers to do the same. She did not mention anyone by name (this is critical to the story). According to Sasha, Jessica Mulroney, who does work with GMA and has a bridal show in Canada and is, most famously, the BFF of Meghan Markle, decided to unload a series of texts and emails on Sasha, ranging from excuses about why she can’t post, to scolding Sasha, telling her to be “kind” (aka the Ellen DeGeneres Defence). That’s tone-policing and microaggression and defensiveness – but it gets worse. Sasha says Jessica then threatened to speak to Sasha’s brand partners, the implication being that they would drop Sasha. We are in a pandemic and many people are feeling so much economic and job stress and for Jessica to pull out that threat is nasty. It’s a small community and relationships like this matter so much; Jessica is a big name and she knows it. Last night, Sasha posted a video, which you can watch below. She points out, right off the top, that she is not calling Jessica racist but wants to let people know what has been happening behind the scenes because it’s personal but also a systemic form of silencing Black women, in media and beyond. JM then hopped in the comments for what I think she thinks is an apology (it reads like Lea Michele and Justin Timberlake collaborated on it) and then immediately took to the DMs to threaten to sue Sasha for libel. First off, suing for libel is an extreme and arduous process. Second, the truth is a defense against libel. It’s not often this kind of Canadian drama makes the Daily Mail. And breaking right now is Jessica’s second apology in which she says she is stepping away from social media and has offered Sasha her account for a takeover, but she doesn’t apologize for threatening to sue her. Who would the takeover benefit? Sasha who’s already an established influencer and has a lot of support on her account? Or Jessica, who gets to hand over the hard work (including dealing with comments) to someone else? Takeovers are about amplifying Black voices, not absolution. 

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I’ve been silent. Not anymore!⁣ ⁣ I’m used to being so transparent on this platform. I think it’s the main reason why most of you follow me. Today, I’m opening up about something that has been haunting me for the last week. I have felt like a complete fraud fighting for racial equality and using my voice openly here, while letting a white woman silence mine behind closed doors. In sharing this very personal story, I know that I am risking a lot. Opening myself up to criticism, bullying and potential ramifications with my job in this space. However, I must speak my truth. Enough is enough. Hopefully my voice will be heard by many and help change things for the next generation and for my daughter Maxwell... because I will be dammed if my child ever has to deal with this level of ignorance.

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Please read my statement. It is from my heart.

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Jessica Mulroney's comments on Sasha Exeter's Instagram post
Jessica Mulroney's comments on Sasha Exeter's Instagram post
Sasha Exeter's DM from Jessica Mulroney 
Jessica Mulroney's apology 
Jessica Mulroney's apology 
Jessica Mulroney's apology 
Jessica Mulroney's apology 
Jessica Mulroney's apology 

Note from Lainey: Maria has recapped Sasha Exeter’s story about Jessica Mulroney. I have worked with Ben Mulroney, Jessica’s husband, for many years at CTV. So today has been a F-CK for us. And I’m not even entitled, really, to say that because compared to the Black members of our team, what I’ve experienced today is nothing. I have some things to say – and I will say them, I promise. But timing is always important. Mistakes are made, AS WE’VE SEEN, when people don’t think it through, and before all the pieces are in play. So you’ll get my first-hand assessment of what it’s been like, for sure. Just know that I have to sort a few things out. 

Lainey probably already knows this, but the King of Jorts John Cena is a BTS stan. He talked about it with James Corden (his favourite member is RM). This week, he posted about the group’s donation and has now matched it: $1 million to Black Lives Matter. They all pulled up.

John Cena’s post made me curious about how WWE would be dealing with BLM. It’s no surprise that there’s no corporate response as wrestling aims to be apolitical, even though the McMahons are friends with the Trumps (Linda McMahon worked for the current administration for a couple of years). Becky Lynch (who is pregnant with Seth Rollins baby, so I think she might be off right now) posted from a protest. 

Bossip is known for their headlines, so much so that the NYT covered it in 2018. It’s an art that has separated Bossip from its online peers. “Peenundrum” is now part of my vernacular. Not sure what to do? It’s a peenandrum!

In an interview with Vanity Fair, Anna Kendrick said filming the first Twilight was like a hostage situation – everyone was soaking wet and miserable but bonded by the end. It’s a funny clip but there’s no way she hated making it more than Robert Pattinson. “It was so long.”

 

Gal Gadot’s “Imagine” seems like a lifetime ago but the celebrities still have WiFi so I guess this was bound to happen. “I take responsibility” is the newest video to make our collective buttholes clench from embarrassment - it’s a bunch of celebrities telling us how they are going to well, take responsibility. Aaron Paul looked like he was giving himself a hernia taking responsibility. Justin Theroux looks like he’s auditioning for a Martin Scorsese movie. Some actors seem a little more natural and sincere (like Stanley Tucci, who has never done anything wrong in his life and I won’t hear otherwise). The website itakeresponsibility.org is interesting because it asks you to take responsibility for an action (ie: saying “I don’t see colour”) and choose an action to go along with it (like donation and voting resources). Actions are a good thing! So why kick it off with a full cringe performative video? I was expecting someone to burst into “Man in the Mirror” by the end.