The running joke around our office, is that if you spend enough time in Brooklyn, you’re bound to run into actor Malik Yoba. Now, this fun fact doesn’t have much to do with the story at hand but I share it to illustrate the type of “relationship” we here at MadameNoire have with Malik. We’ve been watching him since his “New York Undercover” days, rooted for he and Joan to make it work in “Girlfriends,” and the Tyler Perry fans among us…(read: me) wondered why he and Janet just couldn’t get it together in Why Did I Get Married? He’s the famous guy who is simultaneously accessible and just happens to hang out where we hang out on the weekends. A real around-the-way type of dude.
But earlier this month, Malik displayed another side of himself in an ugly confrontation with a reporter and Fox9 contributor on–you guessed it–Twitter. See how it all went down.
Now, was Malik wrong for this? Probably. But was this a very natural, very human reaction to being taunted unnecessarily and unprovoked on Twitter? Definitely. If you peruse Ms. Dish Central’s twitter page, you’ll see that she makes a name for herself coming for celebrities, everyone from Justin Beiber to Prince (inexcusable) to Oprah. If that’s your thing, that’s your thing; but don’t feign shock and prudishness when any one of the celebrities you target fires back with equal or excessive rudeness. The rules of karma dictate that you get what you put out there. Malik was simply not having it that day. Later, Ms. Dish learned some information about Malik that would probably make most folk in her position feel a bit remorseful. But instead, she used it as an opportunity to steadily criticize.
Malik, probably having calmed down a bit, had this to say in response.
Later, in an interview with Hello Beautiful , Malik explained his thought process at the time of the “altercation,” why he said what he said and whether he regretted it in hindsight.
“People think that it’s ok to degenerate and disrespect someone just because they’re in the public eye. Don’t think because I’m a positive dude, I’m going to always say something nice. If you come at me crooked, one too many times or if too many people came at me crooked too many times in a row, then they’re going to get it. I don’t always exercise that self control and I don’t regret it either.”
There you have it. Do I suggest Malik Yoba continues suggesting that women wrap their lips around his johnson? Ehh no. But I can’t deny that he brings up very valid points about the way we treat celebrities…especially in the digital space. I don’t think celebrities are above reproach for the work they produce and present for us to consume; but when you start talking about their personal lives, especially going to the lengths of mentioning them so they can see your comment on Twitter, you have to evaluate your motivation and more importantly your morals. At the end of the day it’s just not cool. And while I suspect Ms. Dish is trying to make a bit of a name for herself by insulting others, there are millions of us who practice tearing down celebs and their personal lives, like it’s our new found faith. Furthermore, why do we then expect these celebrities, fellow human beings, to act like Jesus Christ and keep turning their cheeks while we get to act a fool because we don’t have a platform? If these celebs are not above criticism please believe they’re not above wallowing in the mire right along with us.
But the bigger question is why do we even feel the need to attack them personally? Does it make us feel better about our lives? Is this our jealousy manifested in the comment section? Is it easier to clown someone when you know they can’t access you physically? Probably a little of all of that. It’s always easier to attack the elusive stranger who you’ll probably never meet in real life than it is to deal with the person you have to live with every second of everyday. And if you’ve made peace with that cool but don’t be surprised if someone comes back at you and tells you what to do with your flapping lips…
Read the rest of Malik Yoba’s interview over at Hello Beautiful.com.
What do you make of this altercation, why do we feel so comfortable coming for celebrities?