TAKE #14: Doja Cat’s Apology Video

So I just watched the Doja Cat apology video, and it ended up being exactly what I thought it was going to be.

I don’t really have a whole bunch just say about the events that led up to apology outside of what has already been said (I saw a Tumblr post the other day that pretty much explains my thoughts, so I’ll put that below), but know that I thought (and still think) everything she did was wack.

After watching the video, it just felt like she didn’t take anything seriously. And like I said, that’s what I thought was going to happen. I’ve never been a huge fan of Doja Cat; I’ve just always gotten questionable vibes from her. And the video pretty much confirmed that for me. I thought it was real wack that she started off the video talking about how she wasn’t “hiding from the public,” and I also thought that it was super wack that she started off the bulk of the conversation talking about how she recorded her apologies “98” times. I do commend her deciding against a pre-recorded version and that it would have felt less human and less real because I do think that that’s a fact. I think edit apologies, while they do allow for an artist or whoever to uphold their image, it doesn’t really do much for making me feel like they meant it. So I do appreciate that it was just her sitting down with her laptop on her bed and just speaking her mind. I believe that she was 100% genuine in what she said.

The problem is that I felt like she didn’t take anything seriously and everything felt very surface-level. She started off talking about her racial identity by expressing difficulties with learning to love her hair and explaining why she was in those TinyChat chat…rooms? (is that what they’re called???). All of that stuff I understand I guess. But to me, she was just missing the (actual) point. Which is the same way that I felt when someone on Reddit questioned why I thought The Weeknd should acknowledge the Doja Cat situation because they just released a project together a couple day before everything started. Like I’m sure we’ve all been on chat rooms and seen a bunch of people say stupid stuff. Or said stupid stuff ourselves, but I can’t relate to that second one lol I’ve been watching people stream Grand Theft Auto V on Twitch for the past month, and I would need more than my ten fingers to count how many homophobic and predatory comments I’ve seen.

But, the thing I think that she neglected to understand is how the things that she did have larger implications. And it’s less about what she did (specifically) and more about the implications of those actions. Anti-Blackness, colorism, homophobia, etc. aren’t things to be taken lightly. And I don’t think that she got to that place of understanding. So the video didn’t do anything for me as far as making me feel better about any of the stuff that happened. Just seemed like she kind of tried to explain away everything as a misunderstanding or as somebody else’s fault. I understand that those things are difficult to have to take personal responsibility for. And I’m sure that people’s own beliefs and opinions (including my own), played a part in making this a bigger situation than she originally intended. But there’s this little thing that I believe in very much: intention vs. impact.

Your intention can be to do one thing. But your impact is what people are going to feel. So for example, she explained that the song she made (y’all know the one) was intended to be a “fuck you” to the people who called her that on TinyChat. And I understand wanting to take your agency back and turn a bad into a good. I understand how empowering that can be. As someone who has been teased in the past for a multitude of different things, I 100% get it. But the fact is that the phrase that she used in the song is one that is a derogatory phrase that white folks use in order to make fun of how Black people get treated by police. It’s a phrase used to minimize institutional and systemic racism that happens Black bodies everyday. And by making light of that phrase, it removes the ability for people to be held accountable for how that phrase hurts So I get her wanted to feel empowered and how that was what the song was intended to be, but it’s the impact piece that I think she hasn’t not understood. And, again, it didn’t help that it felt like she was trying to place the blame on other people for making false connections on the song being connected to Sandra Bland’s death. I understand how horrible it must have felt to have that connection be made when that wasn’t her intention, but the point is that that particular video shouldn’t have been the time where she expressed her irritation and anger the people making those assumptions – that was a moment for her to be clear about how that wasn’t her intention to and lay out a plan on how to prevent those misconnections to be made in the future by being careful about what she says and how she says it. And then there was a bunch of stuff – basically everything after her talking about the song – that she could have left out or put in another video. I get wanted to lighten the mood and just talk about everything at once, but THAT video wasn’t the time to talk about why she didn’t show her breasts after getting her #1. That and the hentai shirt she was wearing really minimized everything she said before.

And so I’m not leaving my watching of the video feeling any better about the situation. Or worse. I think that she need to do a lot of reading, researching, soul searching, etc. to understand why the response she got was as severe as it was. Of course, I’m already starting to see people say they forgive her, so she’ll probably be ok career-wise (y’all be letting light-skinned folks get away with everything, but that’s a different conversation). But there are just things that I hope she’s able to understand more fully in the future. Seeing another Black woman be so clueless about that stuff is disheartening. It’s unfortunate that it seems like she sees this whole thing as people just making mountains out of molehills.

I don’t know. I don’t have a whole bunch of cohesive thoughts about this. But I hope at some point she gets her a good sis or two or ten that can get her together.


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