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

Though I love my job as the overseer of this high and judicious court, I’d be lying if I said I haven’t been considering a career change. I’ve been playing with the idea of swapping out this seat for one in another court. A court with a jurisdiction over, say, a few members of Congress so I can one day have the joy of sending Paul Ryan to prison once he’s charged with being the biggest dick in the entire world. I’ll keep you posted.

In this week’s Shade Court, André Leon Talley flitters around with mortals, Lala Anthony takes a stand, and aren’t you glad you’re not still in college?

Shade Court Docket #2017JZ000057

Images via Getty, Kylie Jenner’s Instagram

The Case: The 2017 Met Gala came, went, and reminded us that the only two people who ever really matter at that event are Rihanna and André Leon Talley. Talley was again tasked with making small talk with random celebrities and as always, he nailed it with a perfect tone of seemingly-genuine curiosity and not bothering to stand up.


In their rundown of the interviews, Paper Magazine felt Talley’s chit chats with celebrities like Jennifer Lopez, Amy Schumer, Serena Williams, Rihanna, Gigi Hadid and others constituted shade.

The Defendant: Paper Magazine

The Evidence:

The Deliberation: I legitimately have no idea what this writer is talking about. That headline is bold as hell in the dumbest way possible. We of course know “subtly shade” is redundant and one of the worst word combinations known to man along with “Paul Ryan makeout session” and “group birthday dinner.” Also “every major celebrity”? Really? Every? Major? Celebrity? You really think he threw shade at all of them?


If you were an alien who landed on the planet on Monday and were somehow able to grasp the concept of galas, celebrities and fashion magazines, you might think Talley was being shady. However, mostly, that’s just how he talks.

The only interview that makes a shred of sense as shade was with Selena Gomez. He asks Selena if this is her first Met Ball and she responds: “This is my fourth.” Take a second to chuckle because that was very funny.

Recently, I’ve seen a lot of people reaching and reaching and reaching to dub something as shade. However, no one bothers to take two seconds to consider any of the background of the situation. Does Andre Leon Talley dislike Selena Gomez? Is he a huge Bella Hadid fan? Is he a Belieber? Without any of that information, it doesn’t make a great deal of sense for him to shade the hell out of Selena just because. I do tend to allow accidental instances of shade but I’m not sure it counts when you basically move through your entire life accidentally shading every person you come in contact with.

Even if I were to allow the Gomez interaction to count as shade, that still means Paper Magazine got the other 12 interviews wrong. One of out 12 is not a great average! In fact, it’s embarrassingly terrible.

The Ruling: Not shade

Shade Court Docket #2017JZ000058

Images via Getty.

The Case: The Met Gala ain’t over yet.

Lala Anothny is understandably going through a rough patch. News broke that she and her husband Carmelo Anthony have separated. If rumors are to believed, the major impetuous for the breakup was Carmelo unwisely and grossly impregnating another woman.


Unsurprisingly for someone who counts a Kardashians as a close friend, Lala has responded to the bad news mostly by stunting on Instagram. To that effect, Lala rolled up to the Met Gala (and I’m sorry but I have to marvel at how she even got an invite without being part of her tenuous power couple) and accessorized her completely off-theme gown with rings on every single finger (minus the thumbs) except her ring finger.

Image via Getty.

The Defendant: Hello Beautiful, Hollywood Life

The Evidence:

The Deliberation: Oh Lala, I can tell you needed this.

What I love is how this is both obvious and not. The message is loud and clear—billboard on the side of the highway clear; Paul Ryan is a monumental asshole, clear. Still, its subtle to the point where I like to imagine the only way Carmelo would notice this, (without reading a blog about it) would be while he’s zooming in on all the pictures she posted. Finally, on the fourth viewing, he counts the rings and it all clicks.

The Ruling: Shade

Shade Court Docket #2017JZ000059

Images via Getty.

The Case: Miley Cyrus has taken off her black person costume and traded it back for her being a regular white girl and isn’t that convenient as hell? In an interview with Billboard, Cyrus declared that she’s over hip hop—as if anything she ever did could remotely be classified as such. She was also asked if her new music could be described as “singer-songwritery” and responded:

Yeah. But not granola. I don’t listen to Ed Sheeran and John Mayer and stuff.

The Defendant: Buzzfeed

The Evidence:

The Deliberation: Ugh.

Allow me to present a theory. Quotes from interviews like this are often edited for “length and clarity.” This often includes cutting out filler words like “um” and “like.” Imagine that happened with this Miley Cyrus quote. Instead, it would read:

Yeah. But not granola. Like, I don’t listen to Ed Sheeran and John Mayer and stuff.

Now, that changes things, doesn’t it? It starts looking like a direct comparison and less like shade. Of course, I have no way of confirming this but I’ve heard her speak before so, logically, it’s not much of a leap.


The author tries to argue that the shady bit was the “Yeah. But not granola,” line but that itself is not shady without mentioning Ed Sheeran and John Mayer. Further, I object to this comparison because it assumes Ed Sheeran is a good singer and songwriter when we all know he can’t really sing.

In addition to this not really landing as shade, I am loathe to give this mediocre little culture vulture the stamp of anything even adjacent to the diaspora of black and brown people.

The Ruling: Not shade

Shade Court Docket #2017JZ000060

Logos via Harvard and Stanford

The Case: Teens are insufferable. College students—many of whom are also teens—are worse.


Harvard University is a medium-sized private institution in Cambridge, MA. One of the many extracurricular activities offered by the school—for which students have plenty of time—is a publication called the Harvard Crimson.

Considering the goings-ons at college campuses are objectively boring to anyone with any perspective, it seems the ‘Ol Crimson has run out of ideas evidenced by a recent blog post titled, “Screw Stanford, Pick Harvard.”

You can probably glean what it’s about.

The Defendant: Flyby: The blog of the Harvard Crimson

The Evidence:

Stanford students kind of suck

No shade (but totally shade), the quality of the student body is seriously lacking. To put it simply, Stanford students cheat a lot and an admissions officer once said. “We could have thrown out all the students we accepted, and chosen a new class from the ones rejected, and we would have a stronger class.” Can Stanford students even catch a break at this point?

The Deliberation: At first I thought this was some sort of attempt at satire, but then I remembered the white guys with connections who will actually get comedy writing jobs after college are busy with another publication.


Now, this is less relevant to the case at hand, but unless you need further proof of the utter DELUSION of college students, consider that in this post, the writer legitimately tried to argue Harvard has the locational advantage over Stanford because Stanford is in “the middle of nowhere.”

I think I join the entire sane world in saying I’d much rather live in Palo Alto than FUCKING Cambridge. A 20 minute proximity to Boston is truly not something to brag about. I say that as someone who has spent considerable time in Palo Alto and also went to college in the Boston area.

You might be wondering: Judge Brown, do you feel bad making fun of this college student and possibly teen? No, I do not.


I don’t think I even need to get into the argument of real shade in this article because I’m not sure there has ever been a lamer opening than: “No shade (but totally shade).”

The stick has been wielded now here is my carrot. As someone who gets paid money to write, is older and wiser and who had the wherewithal to erase most of her online writing written before age 25—please take my very sincere advice and delete this blog. Also, in five years, no one worth spending time with is really going to give a shit where you went to college.

The Ruling: Not shade