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

I fully believe in the separation of church and state, so consider my following words not a prayer, but a mere hope intended to improve the lives of all Dorian Corey’s children: Let us band together in these trying times and do our best to preserve the sanctity of shade and stop tweets like this from happening. Play ball!

In this week’s Shade Court, what is hopefully one of the last Donald Trump appearances for a very long time, basketball bros do their thing and Justin Theroux pays for his actions.

Shade Court Docket #2016JZ000205

Images via Getty.

The Case: Joe Biden continues doing his part to prevent the downfall of our democracy by campaigning for Hillary Clinton. At a rally in Tampa—an area of the country known for Magic Mike abs and sunshine—Joe Biden put on his sunglasses in the middle of the speech to protect himself from both. He also said some more stuff about Donald Trump.

It is sunny in Florida, but Biden also needed to protect his eyes from the shade he was throwing at Trump. “All kidding aside, this guy has got a fixation. Have you ever heard anybody ever talk as much about and be so preoccupied with women’s bodies?” said Biden. “Their shape, whether or not they’re good or bad. A guy who said what he said to Bully Bush that because he’s famous, because he is wealthy, he has the right … to commit sexual assault? Because that is the definition of sexual assault.”

The Defendant: Death and Taxes

The Evidence:

The Deliberation: I truly, truly hope they were not trying to draw some sort of connection between the sunglasses and Joe Biden throwing shade because how many times, how many times, HOW MANY TIMES have we discussed that not-remotely-clever pun?


Even a mere Shade Court intern would know this is not shade. The better question here is: has Joe Biden ever shaded anything in his entire time on this planet? Is he capable? The man is not subtle or quiet and I’m guessing it would be difficult for him to even wrap his mind around the concept. “If something’s malarky, why not just out and out call it malarky?! Just say it dagnabbit! Malarky!”

The Ruling: Not shade

Shade Court Docket #2016JZ000206

Images via Getty.

The Case: National Basketball Association players Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant are in the middle of a dude blood battle because Kevin left Russell in Oklahoma while he moved to the Bay Area with his new lightskinned friends.


After a summer where emotions did not cool at all, the two finally met on the wooded field for a game of basketball with their respective organizations. It’s customary to wear clothes out in public and Russell Westbrook did just that, making his entrance in a fetching all-white ensemble which he accessorized with a pop of fluorescent orange in the form of an “official photographer” bib.

The Defendant: Sports Illustrated, The New York Daily News, The Crossover

The Evidence:

The Deliberation: The necessary backstory here is that Kevin Durant fancies himself a photographer in the way that rich people with access to expensive cameras often get super into photography. They even let him snap a few Instagram pics at the Super Bowl and definitely not just because he’s an incredibly famous athlete. “Yeah, ok whatever, bump the dude from the Fargo Telegraph and give Kevin his spot. It’s fine.”

Anyway, Russell Westbrook is known as a jaunty fellow who enjoys high fashion and True Religion jeans. Maybe the bib is just him being quirky! Experimenting with his look. Perhaps it was a dare.


In reality, Russell is shading the hell out of Kevin. The thing thing is, I’m not exactly sure what specific message he’s trying to send to Kevin other than just wanting to fuck with him. Russell Westbrook pulled off both shade and an excellent troll. Remember this moment.

The Ruling: Shade

Shade Court Docket #2016JZ000207

Images via Getty.

The Case: Justin Theroux, best known for his masterful turn in the classic film, Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle, posted an image on Instagram of some *very edgy* graffiti because apparently he’s a 17 year-old wannabe hypebeast who’s up to an almost, like, 5,000 followers dude.

The image, as you can see, invites the world to fuck a serious of objects, organizations and concepts. It also (halfway down on the right side), invites us to fuck Brad Pitt.

The Defendant: TMZ, E! News, Entertainment Tonight

The Evidence:

The Deliberation: You might be a touch confused right now as two of the three above headlines are making different claims. Further, I rarely, if ever, argue against the assertion that something isn’t shade. But seeing as how Solange gave me a seat at the table, the only thing left to do is TURN IT. Let’s tackle this from all sides.

Full disclosure: Initially, I wasn’t even going to include this case because it don’t fit within the traditional Shade Court parameters, but I took such offense to Justin’s stupid-ass hashtag so this where we are now.

First, let’s address the concept of accidental shade. I am often asked if something is still shade if it’s unintentional. The answer is yes. Metaphorically, if shade is murder, then unintentional shade is manslaughter. It’s really very simple. Of course, the intent behind the shade is important, but I believe that if you find yourself in a situation where you accidentally shaded the hell out of someone, there is some subliminal energy working there.

Now, it seems Justin posted the picture and later updated the post’s caption to insist he wasn’t shading Brad Pitt with this dyslexic’s nightmare of a hashtag: “#andNOthispostisNOT’shading’anyonebecauseimnotelevemyearsoldimeanseriously.”


Oh, you’re not throwing shade because you’re not 11 years old? Well I’m not engaged to Jennifer Aniston because I have a podiatrist appointment next Thursday. DO YOU HEAR YOURSELF JUSTIN? THAT’S HOW YOU SOUND. THAT’S HOW MUCH SENSE YOU MAKE.

Clearly Justin doesn’t have any clue about shade if he thinks it’s some sort of child’s game instead of one of the realest, most lethal moves out on these streets. It’s a shame too, because he proved he’s pretty good at throwing shade. Let’s be real, he totally knew that graffiti said “Fuck Brad Pitt” and he posted it anyway. He should have just stuck to his guns, said nothing or perhaps simply tweeted: “It’s art.” Way to Streisand yourself, dude.


Shade Court Docket #2016JZ000208

Images via Getty and Woman’s Day

The Case: Mariah Carey is going through a tough time right now. She just broke up with her fiancé and with Christmas around the corner, her busy season is just getting started. Perhaps that’s why she did not take too kindly to Australian tabloid Woman’s Day reporting that her manager, Stella Bulochnikov, was responsible for the breakup with James Packer. Woman’s Day claimed that James hated Stella so much he completely abandoned his plans to spend the rest of his life with a woman he loves. Sure!


In response to the rumor, Mariah Carey posted a picture of herself and Stella’s cheek along with a pointed message.

The Defendant: Global Grind

The Evidence:

The Deliberation: Blasphemy can take a number of forms and we are witnessing one of them right here, folks.


Instead of sweat, Mariah Carey secretes shade and yet this is what you’re running with? This woman has given us some of the most iconic shade moments in the history of properly blended foundation and you really think she can’t do better than this fine, but sort of lazy caption?

Don’t you ever in your life disrespect her like this again.

The Ruling: Not shade