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

Let me anger bigots around the country by wishing you a very happy holidays.

Now that that’s done, in this week’s Shade Court, unfortunately we have to discuss Azealia Banks, Janice Dickinson butts in, and please put some respeck on Mariah Carey’s name.

Shade Court Docket #2016JZ000228

Images via Getty

The Case: It seems that mobile video games are still a lucrative opportunity for celebrities with a very specific kind of brand. Speaking of which, Nicki Minaj has a new mobile game. I don’t know exactly how these doohickies work, but here is a screenshot from said mobile game that many are reading as a reference to Azealia Banks.

Banks dropped a mixtape in 2012 called Fantasea and has frequently used mermaid-themed costumes and imagery including an event called the Mermaid Ball.

The Defendant: B Scott, TMZ

The Evidence:

The Deliberation: I almost don’t care whether or not this is shade because either way, Nicki roasted her. A better question is: Why is Nicki Minaj roasting Azealia Banks?


Sure, I could do a cursory Google search, but even that’s too much effort for this particular conundrum. Also, you know that whatever the beef is, it’s definitely low-grade and stupid. I shouldn’t be surprised because Azealia Banks will start shit with anyone who accidentally utilizes the same air supply as her and Nicki stays responding to peoples she’s 15 stories and $20 million above.

I very much want this to be shade but Nicki left us absolutely no ambiguity. People probably would have gotten the point with just the blue-haired avatar and the mermaid references, but she had to take it one step further. In 2017, I hope Nicki Minaj takes the same new approach to shade that she has taken to her hair and makeup game.

The Ruling: Not shade

Shade Court Docket #2016JZ000229

Images via Getty and the NFL

The Case: A football player who complains a lot and was harassed by Lena Dunham is complaining about another football player who has been accused of domestic violence. The Lena Dunham harassee feels he receives unfair treatment from the NFL in comparison to the guy who has been accused of assaulting his girlfriend, which is probably true because the NFL is a sham of an organization with no sense of decency or moral consistency beyond turning a profit.

The player decided to tweet through it.

The Defendant: Fox Sports: NFL

The Evidence:



I don’t run around dropping erroneous sports metaphors. (Ok, wait, yes I do. But when I do it, it’s delightful. Also, I’m a judge. Shut up.)

This is your lane.

This is you.

What are you doing all the way over here???

I mean, my goodness. Nobody is even looking for Fox Sports: NFL to engage with the concept of shade. Do you want to hear your dentist’s opinions on toe rings? Are you asking your sommelier which rental car company to pick? Do you want your 7th grade history teaching giving you a haircut?

Go think about that

The Ruling: No, that dumb tweet was not shade

Shade Court Docket #2016JZ000230

Images via Getty.

The Case: Her High Note-ness Mariah Carey appeared on Watch What Happens Live! and Andy Cohen again did his best to manufacture an iconic moment by asking Mariah if she knew a series of female pop stars.


Among many, Andy prodded her about Ariana Grande, who people with no concern for the enunciation of lyrics or clear sinuses compare to Carey.

“What about Ariana Grande? Do you know her?” asked Cohen.

“No,” dead-panned Carey.

“When I looked at her early in the career, I kinda thought, ‘Wow, this is an homage to Mariah a little bit,’” said Cohen. “Did you feel that?”

“Child, I don’t know when early in the career was,” said Carey with a straight face.

Andy asked also her about Demi Lovato who recently received her SkyMall order for a shiny new Niceness Police badge.

Later in the show, Cohen addressed Demi Lovato, who earlier this year said Carey “disses people” and that the way she treats Lopez is “nasty.” “What would you say to Demi?” asked Cohen.

“I don’t know her either, and so I wouldn’t say anything to her,” explained Carey. “She should come up, introduce herself to me, say, ‘Here’s my opinion. What do you think about it?’ That’s how you handle s—, okay?”

The Defendant: Entertainment Weekly

The Evidence:

The Deliberation: Look, we all know that Mariah’s “I don’t know her” will forever hold court in the Shade Hall of Fame in its own special section with its own perfect lighting concept. But here’s the thing about iconic moments: they aren’t repeatable.

I don’t know why people are always trying to keep her in the “I don’t know her box” when Mariah Carey serves you such a diversity of shadiness like clockwork.

Regarding Demi and Ariana, this is what Mariah “18 number one singles” Carey did: She put those young ladies in their place. She drew them a map, marked the spot, handed over a compass, packed them a few granola bars and sent them on their merry way towards careers that don’t include 64 million albums sold.

Because everyone was too concerned with her Demi Lovato and Ariana Grande clapbacks, they missed the actual shade Mariah threw in her responses to the other artists.

Miley Cyrus: “Uh, I think we met in a bathroom with, I don’t know. I don’t know,”

Katy Perry: “Nice girl. She came to my show as well.”

Taylor Swift: “Very nice girl. Met her once. She was really sweet. She came up to me.”

“She came to my show as well” is stealthily brutal. She came to my Las Vegas residency with all the other ticket buyers.

“She came up to me” makes it sound like Taylor was asking for an autograph.

And then of course, I THINK WE MET IN A BATHROOM WITH SOME RANDO I DON’T EVEN REMEMBER. There is no way she could possibly make that interaction sound more pedestrian and inconsequential.

GOD. Mariah drops gems like this and this is how you treat her?

The Ruling: 3/8 shade

Shade Court Docket #2016JZ000231

Images via Getty.

The Case: Janice Dickinson, grasping for attention, went after the Kardashians in a recent interview:

Dickinson said that today’s models are famous because of “the 96 million social media people that got Vogue to pay attention to the Gigi Hadids and the Kendall Jenners.” She added that Kim Kardashian West’s 2014 Vogue cover made her “want to vomit.” She said, “They’re reality TV stars! You know, modeling is extremely hard work, you have to have perfect proportions. The Kardashians do not have couture proportions.”

The Defendant: The Washington Post

The Evidence:

The Deliberation: Has any other year in history brought us more of these “everyone involved is terrible” moments?


Here are the facts: Gigi and Bella Hadid would not be successful models without the deft, gentle hand of their mother’s plastic surgeon and the fame and wealth of their parents. The same goes for Kendall Jenner. And we all know Kim only got her Vogue cover because Anna Wintour was starting to develop wrinkles over Kanye’s constant begging.

Naomi Campbell has already shaded the Kardashians into a 2009 Ed Hardy clearance bin and Rebecca Romijn did a nice job herself not to long ago. Nobody needed Janice Dickison to chime in.

Further, this quote, quite clearly to anyone with sense, is not shade.

The Ruling: Not shade