Image by Tara Jacoby, featuring the shade artist at a young age.

Hello all, are you tired? I am TIRED. Justice is a difficult road and some people just will not let me have a moment of rest. And yet, here I stand—like Lady Justice, except I also covered my ears because I really can’t listen to all this nonsense either.

In this this week’s Shade Court, Maria Sharapova likes to lose, Nicole Kidman and Giada De Laurentiis truly cannot help themselves and sometimes the best shade is the simple shade.

Shade Court Docket #2017JZ000061

Images via Getty.

The Case: Maria Sharapova is back on the tennis scene following her 15 month ban from professional tennis after testing positive for a banned substance. This week, Sharapova competed in the Madrid Open where she lost to a Canadian player named Eugenie Bouchard. Bouchard has publicly and accurately characterized Sharapova as a “cheater,” so, as you can imagine, things were pretty tense.

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It seems that during her time off, Sharapova had time to write a memoir titled, Unstoppable, which I assume is meant to be ironic considering we’ve seen her stopped by Serena Williams, the International Tennis Federation and number of other women in the WTA on a number of occasions.

Following Sharapova’s loss at the Madrid Open, a fan on Twitter crafted this painfully un-clever book cover skewering Eugenie Bouchard.

Maria Sharapova “favorited” the tweet.

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The Defendant: Eurosport UK

The Evidence:

The Deliberation: We’ve discussed the shady nature of social media moves like this one. A sly “favorite” or “like” is a common tactic for the somewhat lazy shade-thrower. However, I think it’s time we raise the bar.

The shady “favorite” only really works when it involves something that even just pretends to be vague. For example, Calvin Harris liking a random Kim Kardashian Instagram would be fairly on the nose, but seemingly random enough to qualify a shade. This? This is...dumb.

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The fake book cover itself is stupid and Sharapova looks petty and not particularly deft by favoriting it. The dumbest part of this is that the title includes “I Wish I Was Maria Sharapova,” as if this girl didn’t just beat her!

There’s a shady aspect to this but today I am not in the mood for Two Buck Chuck or even one of the $3.99 bottles. No, it is a $8.99 bottle of wine day and the quality of shade should reflect that.

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The Ruling: Not shade

Shade Court Docket #2017JZ000062

Images via Getty, Wikipedia Commons

The Case: Donald Trump is a crook. Donald Trump also recently fired James Comey, the director of the FBI. Naturally, this prompted some comparisons to another shameful president who is, incredibly, looking better and better by the second compared to the idiot we’ve got now.

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Following the news, the Twitter account for the Richard Nixon Library tweeted this:

The Defendant: New York, Jonathan Capehart

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The Evidence:

http://nymag.com/selectall/2017/05/nixon-library-shades-trump-on-twitter.html

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The Deliberation: Fun Fact: Anything that follows the phrase “Fun Fact” is almost never going to be shade. Fun Fact: It’s usually not fun either.

You know, I’m really not mad at this tweet which makes this case even more frustrating. This was a good tweet! A good topical, rude, snarky tweet. Calling it shade does not actually make the tweet better. Guys, sometimes it’s fine to just let things be! Let guacamole be guacamole—no need to add whatever random shit is laying around your refrigerator to it. Let pasta be pasta—don’t trick yourself with a damn zoodle.

To add insult to the injury, the New York magazine story ends with this kicker:

Watch out dictionary twitter, you’ve got some competition in the internet-burn department.

How is this both a burn and shade? Is a musician both good and Ed Sheeran? Can a day be both enjoyable and not include a glass of wine? THINK ABOUT IT.

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The Ruling: Not shade

Shade Court Docket #2017JZ000063

Images via Getty

The Case: The Ellen Show featured a rather funny segment this week wherein Nicole Kidman and Ellen didn’t give a single fuck about some random, leftover meal Giada De Laurentiis was trying to get them to prepare.

The Defendant: Elle, BuzzFeed

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The Evidence:

http://www.elle.com/culture/celebrities/news/a45188/nicole-kidman-giada-de-laurentiis-ellen-show/?src=socialflowTW

https://www.buzzfeed.com/ryanschocket2/nicole-kidman-had-the-best-response-to-a-chef-who-was-rude?utm_term=.bg3nBA4lB#.tjz49zxl9

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The Deliberation: There is a lot going on here.

Let’slook at the two defendants first. Elle argues that Nicole was throwing shade at Giada, while BuzzFeed says the opposite. (The BuzzFeed post proper also claims Nicole is throwing shade but I think it’s bullshit to hedge your bets like that so I’m sticking with the headline.)

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Let’s just run through some of lines the women threw at each other:

Giada: Have you made meatballs or anything?

Giada: The woman who can’t cook made the perfect ball!

Giada: You can put a timer on. Do you have a timer?

Nicole: Well, I just use the clock on the wall.

Nicole: There are many great cooks in the audience, am I right?

Giada: You don’t have to take off the skin, honey.

Nicole: Isn’t it [cooking] meant to be relaxing?

Nicole: I don’t know how to time everything.

Giada: Oh, well then don’t make so many things.

Re: the focaccia

Nicole: It’s a little tough.

Re: Nicole trying to chew the focaccia:

Giada: Don’t choke on the focaccia pleas. We should get her some water.

What I love most is this was all done while both had these terrible fake smiles plastered to their faces as they tried to ooze faux charm. They were both preening for the cameras like deranged beauty queens or precocious child actors who’ve seen too much. While these jabs may not read as especially shady on paper, the delivery was everything here.

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If there had to be a winner, I’d say Nicole threw more authentic shade because Giada quickly seemed legitimately irritated and the whole thing devolved into “playful” ribbing that was rather transparent. Still, she got some good shots in there.

Interestingly enough, the best shade thrown here came from BuzzFeed’s headline: “Nicole Kidman Had The Best Response To A Chef Who Was Rude To Her On Ellen.”

In case it’s not clear, “A Chef” refers to Giada.

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I’m tempted to give this to both of them because the restraint they were clearly trying to exercise is praiseworthy even if they didn’t fully pull it off. If nothing else, I hope this is the beginning of a long, beautiful, shade-filled feud between these two born out of lump risotto and dry focaccia.

The Ruling: Shade, why not?

Amicus Briefs

No. 17-005

Images via Getty and Twitter.

The Defense Security Service vs Donald Trump

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The Case: I’ll save the full Donald Trump recap because, unfortunately, you all know. You also probably know that as each day passes and with every report from behind the scenes, it becomes clearer and clearer that Trump is possibly suffering from dementia, paranoia or some other physiological ailment that is impacting his ability to not burn the country to ashes.

Relatedly, this week the Defense Secretary Service just happened to tweet this:

The Argument: The key here is that they waited until May 9th to tweet. Isn’t this something you’d mention at the start of the month and not a week later?

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FURTHER, on May 1st they recognized May as National Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

I suppose the month of May can honor two different things, but I just find this suspect. You acknowledge one theme right away yet waited nine days to mention the other? Oh, I see you, Defense Secretary Service. I see you!

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This is a solid, no-frills approach to shade. What it lacks in flash, it makes up for by being rather unimpeachable. Rude, subtle and gets the job done. Thank you for your service.

The Conclusion: Shade