I mean, we’ve always known that Cardi B reads the comments. And a lot of the time she answers the comments – sometimes she’s funny, sometimes she’s aggressive. 


Earlier today I posted about Jamie Foxx and Jennifer Aniston and how Jamie’s use of AAVE was interpreted by some to be antisemitic and then Jennifer entered the chat and all hell broke loose. Jamie pulled down his Instagram post and issued an apology explaining that while it was not his intention to be antisemitic, he now understands the impact because there were Jewish people who were offended by using that specific example. Again, as I noted in that post, this is the lesson of intent vs impact and how we approach progress – focusing only on intent centers ourselves in the conversation, but balancing out intent with impact means we share the focus with another person to make sure their feelings are also considered. 

Where Cardi B is concerned then, she was called out for an antisemitic post of her own a few days ago. This was in response to the news that she will not be charged for throwing a microphone at an audience member when she was hit with a drink on stage at a show in Vegas. Basically she was trying to say that her lawyer, who is Jewish, was great at their job. But she then shared a stock photo of two Hasidic Jewish people, referring to one of her songs “Bickenheld” with the lyrics, “Lawyer is a Jew, he gon’ chew up all the charges.”


Cardi’s intent was to compliment the competence of her Jewish lawyers. The impact, however, was not so complimentary. 


As Dovid Bashevkin points out, Cardi read the comments, and deleted the tweet, like Jamie Foxx, but unlike Jamie she did not take the opportunity to engage with the conversation, even when his intention was not to be antisemitic. Jamie is participating in the discussion, trying to understand that while his use of AAVE was misunderstood, he’s willing to better understand how that phrasing is offensive to people in the Jewish community. 

With Cardi, there’s no such engagement after deleting the tweet. That also applies to Jennifer Aniston. 

So what do we, as celebrity gossip consumers, take away from these examples? I have heard today, following my Jamie and Jennifer post, from members of both the Black and Jewish communities who have shared with me their experiences of being othered and feeling targeted. One Jewish reader expressed her disappointment with me that I shared Jamie’s original post. My intent was to lay out the situation as it unfolded but the IMPACT of that decision was that Jewish people, like the reader, though they appreciated that Jamie did not intend to harm, still felt the pain of those words given their historical context. 


Other Jewish readers wrote to share that even though Jamie meant no disrespect, it was necessary to point out to him that there is value in being aware that different words and actions mean different things to different people and that my post would have been better served by illuminating that point so that those feelings aren’t minimised.

Intent vs impact, then, is a work in progress. And the takeaway is that we can do this work together but not if we take ourselves out of the discussion. 

Now to the extra reading – here’s a piece by Shaina Hammerman for The Jewish News of Northern California about the Cardi B situation. Shaina gives Cardi grace for what her original intent may have been but also goes into a great discussion about what impact her post may have made. It’s not a long essay but it is totally worth your time. 

Here's Cardi out for dinner with Offset late last month.