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

Hello. The world is falling apart. I’m terrified, but here we are. Last week I was very much not in the mood to be funny or do anything but eat eggless cookie dough in my bed. But now it’s time to fight. We have many battles ahead of us, and while I won’t claim the sanctity of shade be one of the most important, it is my duty and I’m here to serve.

Now, before we dive in, I’d like to serve an extra crispy “fuck you” to Fox & Friends ham-fisted attempt at not being the whitest people on the planet.

I will not address such insolence by dragging this case through the halls of my illustrious Shade Court but they deserve to be called out in some capacity. Hey assholes, you don’t get to cape for white supremacist Batman and homophobic Robin and then use the language of the brown and queer to push your shitty television programming. Thems the rules, suckers. May the ghost of Dorian Corey haunt. May you be read to filth by your own mothers and may drag queens death drop on your graves for centuries to come.

In this week’s Shade Court, I tire of Trump, M.I.A. digs a hole and Katy Perry and Taylor Swift are still a thing.

Shade Court Docket #2016JZ000209

Images via Getty.

The Case: Someone was interviewing M.I.A. because lucky for M.I.A., the internet doesn’t require the investment of paper and ink so, whatever, have at it. Seeing as how she actually wanted people to read the interview, M.I.A. started running her mouth about Beyoncé, Madonna and Rihanna.

“I’m fine with Madonna or Beyonce or Rihanna being ‘inspired’ by my work, but I would like them to then go, ‘Yeah, this immigrant who came out of nowhere influenced us, so maybe not all of them are fucking terrible.” She then showed off her powers of mind-reading.

Um. Ok. She went on.

“They don’t even think like that,” the “Paper Planes” hitmaker continued. “They go, ‘Yeah, maybe me stealing the stuff says she’s all right. She should be thankful we’re stealing it.’ But sometimes you just think, ‘Fuck, I have to pay some bills,’ you know?”

The Defendant: Idolator

The Evidence:

The Deliberation: Obviously this is not shade and since it’s Idolator we’re talking about, anyone with even a scrap of shade knowledge knew they’d get this wrong. The funny thing is that Idolator actually threw a little bit of shade themselves with that mind-reading line so perhaps this is their long, unflinching commitment to trolling me.


Now, let’s just get into Mathangi’s statements. I really wish this woman would shut the hell up. It’d be one thing if spewed nonsense like this and it actually helped her career, but every time she does she make things more difficult for herself. I am far, far, far from a Madonna fan but, girl what? Literally what are you talking about? I’m going to need a breakdown of the examples of these women stealing from you and the fact that she cites exactly zero is telling.

Further, the notion that giving M.I.A. credit (read: money) will somehow, what, convince the global community to open their arms to immigrants is so stressful in its stupidity that I’m going to need several minutes to recover.

The Ruling: Not shade

Shade Court Docket #2016JZ000210

Images via Getty.

The Case: One time, Andy Cohen was being messy as hell at the Met Gala and goaded Taylor Swift into talking shit about Katy Perry.

“Why I felt I needed to get involved I will never know (maybe I was auditioning for her squad?) but I innocently said exactly the wrong thing to her, which was, ‘Your friend Katy is sitting in the corner and there’s plenty of room around her,’” Cohen writes in his book Superficial: More Adventures from the Andy Cohen Diaries. Swift then quipped, “Katy who?”

“I said, ‘Perry,’ at which point she clearly let me know that she’s the exact opposite of her friend,” Cohen continues, adding that Swift asked him not to mention the incident on his show. “She didn’t threaten me about putting it in my book, so here we are.”

The Defendant: Marie Claire, iHeartRadio

The Evidence:

The Deliberation: My god it is so hard to care about either of these two anymore isn’t it? Let me see if I can find my give a fuck gloves and get to work.


Taylor’s “Katy who?” retort was actually pretty good shade, but of course she had to go on and be her extra-ass self. When Andy answered “Perry,” Taylor should have just taken a sip of her champagne and turned her back to Andy because he can go find fodder for his book elsewhere thank you very much.

Instead, she apparently preceded to complain or rant or whine or WHATEVER, probably with some arm gesticulations. I don’t know much about Andy Cohen’s book but it seems he’s pressed to meet that word count. “The exact opposite of her friend”—UM YEAH WE HAVE A WORD FOR THAT, BOO. In fact, we have a number of words for that: enemy, foe, rival, nemesis, opponent...

The most obnoxious part about the Katy Perry vs Taylor Swift melee is that there’s an 80 percent chance it’s going to end in some sort of horribly off-key duet because they both love money and attention more than they hate each other.

The Ruling: Half shade

Shade Court Docket #2016JZ000211

Images via Getty and Wikipedia.

The Case: Over the past week, a lot of people have made a lot of references to Donald Trump.

The Defendant: Bernie Sanders, the CIA, Barack Obama

The Evidence:

The Deliberation: I’m grouping these together because they’re all of the same breed. Yes yes, guys, clever wordplay and yes we know who you’re talking about. While they’re not all as artful as I’d like, they do all meet the standards of shade that have been set by this court.


Bernie’s is the weakest of the three and I could have told you that blind. The CIA nailed it because why else would they use that boring ass “artifact” if not to shade Donald Trump? And Barack has been here before. He knows what he’s doing.

Let me say right now, I’m not sure if I’ll continue to try many more Trump-related cases largely because we should not be shading him. We should be taking him to task in the clearest of terms and never forgetting what a cowardly, egomaniacal, bigoted, incompetent despot he is.

Also, I feel like there will be way too many of these to keep track of.

The Ruling: Shade

Shade Court Docket #2016JZ000212

Images via Getty.

The Case: There’s no real point introducing names to the equation right now so I’ll just explain this with letters. Girl A was engaged to Boy A. Boy A broke up with Girl A over text message. Not long after, Boy A started dating Girl B. Girl A, who is in a ladies singing group, was not and continues not to be happy about it. Girl A’s singing group recorded a song. The lyrics were ultimately changed but the original version included the following collection of words:

“heard he been f***ing some model chick, yeah that sh*t hurt I’ll admit, but f*ck that boy I’m over it.”

The Defendant: Sugarscape

The Evidence:

The Deliberation: Let me note that the name of the song in question is, “Shout Out To My Ex” and “some model chick” might as well be Gigi Hadid’s government name.


While we’re out here throwing “direct shade,” I think I’ll enjoy a nice bowl of piping hot ice cream, followed by a refreshing bone-dry shower and call up the president-elect for a bit of moral guidance.

Relatedly, Sugarscape, I hate you.