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

It’s amazing what a nice meal and witnessing the most humiliating moment of Paul Ryan’s life can do for your spirit. Today is a good day and I’m ready for some shade justice.

In today’s Shade Court, Colin Kaepernick knows what he’s doing, daytime talk show wars and emojis will not carry the shade for you.

Shade Court Docket #2017JZ000039

Images via Getty.

The Case: Steve Bannon’s lackey recently introduced a new budget proposal that would be comical in its preposterousness if it wasn’t also very, very real. One of the programs Bannon wants to cut federal funding to is Meals On Wheels—a nutrition program for the elderly—because they’ve already voted for Trump anyway, so who needs to keep them alive, ya know?

Unrelatedly but relatedly, Trump has been running his mouth about how no NFL team will sign Colin Kaepernick—AKA, Militant Lightskinned Bae—because owners are worried about the wrath of Trump’s tiny twitter fingers.

It just so happens, this week Kaepernick made a $50,000 donation to Meals On Wheels.

The Defendant: Shaun King

The Evidence:

The Deliberation: Call me Mr. Swackhammer, because as I’ve said it a thousand times: there’s no such thing as “epic shade.”


But anyway, Colin Kaepernick has to be one of the most zen-like individuals who simultaneously exists a space that damn near requires unhealthy surges of testosterone and ego. Last fall, Colin announced he’d be donating $1 million of his salary to charity and his Meals On Wheels donation seems to be part of that promise. Granted the timing gives him a way, but it’s a great cover because he could argue, with total plausibility, that he was going to make this donation regardless of Trump’s budget cuts.

One of the most frustrating things about Donald Trump is it’s so hard to fight against such abject idiocy and untruth. On top of that, you can’t shame someone who has no shame. Still, on the very rare occasion, someone manages to do just that. It’s not difficult to make Trump look like a classless buffoon, but what an elegant way to do it. Write a check, say nothing, and keep it moving.

Notice how Trump hasn’t said shit about Kaepernick’s gesture and I would bet the farm he knows about it. You know he read this shit on Twitter somewhere because seriously, what else is he doing, and I have to imagine he’s pissed. On top of that, he really can’t say anything because there’s no response that makes any sense, even in Trump’s distorted version of reality. Colin Kaepernick: good at throwing footballs and shade.

The Ruling: Shade

Shade Court Docket #2017JZ000040

Images via Getty.

The Case: I probably don’t need to tell you this since you’ve presumably been counting down for months and finalizing the details for your viewing parties, but the Daytime Emmy nominations were announced this week.


For some reason, the nominations were announced on The Talk and Sara Gilbert had the honor of announcing the nominees for Outstanding Entertainment Talk Show Host. Apparently, she didn’t do a great job, mispronouncing the names of several nominees who happen to be her direct competition.

Whether it was The View’s Sara Haines, Jedediah Bila and Sunny Hostin or The Real’s Adrienne Houghton and Jeannie Mai, Sara struggled to pronounce the last names.

Whoopi Goldberg, the only grownup in charge over at the fame-chasing lady’s favorite of game of musical chairs on top of a speeding merry-go-round that is The View, didn’t like Sara’s slip up and addressed it on the show.

“I think [the nominations] were announced on The Talk and I think a couple of the women weren’t sure about the pronunciation of everyone’s names so please introduce yourself so people know,” Whoopi shared.

She then proceeded to make all the women go around the circle and say their names, which, honestly was extremely helpful because a) who are these people and b) actually, it doesn’t matter because I don’t watch this show and they’ll all be gone in four months anyway.

The Defendant: E! Online

The Evidence:

The Deliberation: There’s a reason Whoopi Goldberg is in the EGOT club because girlfriend knows how to put on a performance. But let’s back up for a moment.


Sarah Gilbert later a gave a sincere-sounding apology for her mispronunciations, which I might actually believe if there wasn’t a long, arduous, yet somehow still extremely boring history of bad blood between The Talk and The View. Gilbert claims she was nervous, but it’s not like she was put in a particularly stressful position.

She was literally sitting in the same chair she sits in everyday, in front of the same audience of moms who finally took that girl’s trip they’ve been planning since all the kids are teenagers now who can drive themselves to soccer practice, reading some names off piece of paper.

It also strikes me as odd that she wouldn’t have any idea how to pronounce the names of women who are in direct competition with her show. Now, I don’t think she intentionally sabotaged this, but I don’t think she cared enough to put too much effort into getting it right. Arguably, Sara threw some shade herself here and, honestly, “innocently” mispronouncing all their names is pretty hilarious.


Whoopi’s response was a little stunt-y but the key is in her delivery. Whoopi sounds totally calm and sincere—oh just an fyi, thought this would be helpful! 

Girl, please. It was an exceedingly polite and respectful tone from a woman who is happy to pop off for any number of reasons. There’s also this:

I think a couple of the women weren’t sure about the pronunciation of everyone’s names

Trying to act like she’s spreading the blame when we all know good and well she’s talking about Gilbert.


Both Whoopi and Sarah kept it perfectly passive aggressive with just a dash of, “Who me?” to throw us off the scent. YES, GIRL YOU. WE SEE YOU.

The Ruling: Shade

Shade Court Docket #2017JZ000041

Images via Getty.

The Case: Neil Gorsuch had his hearings with the Judiciary Committee this week and oh my god how is that a real sentence. During the hearing, democratic Senator Dick Durbin asked some questions.

The Defendant: Slate

The Evidence:

The Deliberation: Dick, look, I don’t know you—this is literally the first time in my life I’m hearing your name—but you’re going to need to chill.


I mean, what kind of dumbass non-sequitur is that? Are you seriously using this very important time to test your one-liners? Can you please just do your fucking job—something some of your friends already seem to be struggling with—instead of trying to be so damn clever?

What you need to do is start brushing up on the filibuster rules instead of testing catchphrases in the mirror.

I am in a kind, judicious mood today because I had a delicious breakfast, so I won’t even give too many characters to dissecting how deeply lame and embarrassing the phrase “an epic hurling of shade” is.

The Ruling: Not shade

Shade Court Docket #2017JZ000042

The Case: Note: Paul Ryan obviously has nothing to do with this but choosing the images here was difficult and I couldn’t help myself. P.S. Paul Ryan lost and everyone hates him.


For no good reason we are getting a bunch of new emojis even though we already have more than enough and Jesus Christ, there aren’t enough hours in the day to be scrolling through pages and pages of illustrations every time I’m trying to add a bit of pizzazz to my texts, ya know?

The Verge is trying to argue that one of the new emojis will be the first true, shade-throwing emoji.

The “face with finger covering closed lips” emoji is perfect in its passive-aggressiveness. It’s not mad at you. Notice the smirk. It’s just disappointed that you’re still speaking. Have you considered shutting up, for your own good?

The Defendant: The Verge

The Evidence:

The Deliberation: I’m amazed we haven’t had this discussion before, or maybe we have. Life is long. It’s a lot to remember.

Let it be known: No single emoji is inherently shady.

Perhaps the worst offense done to the concept of shade is the notion that this shit is easy—that’s is not a glorious skill, an exacting taste and an acute shady sense. The emojis cannot do the work for you, this isn’t sexting.

Now, the author here is not altogether wrong:

Throwing shade with emoji requires a little creativity. You can go the obvious route with an eye-rolling emoji, but that’s basic. The nail care emoji (a personal favorite) is a classic, yet subtle, dig.

This is true! You could, conceivably, throw shade with any emoji as long as you use it correctly. So it’s confusing then to argue that this “shushing” emoji is somehow any more shady than the others.


The author suggests using this emoji to passive-aggressively tell someone to shut up despite the fact that doing so would be extremely obvious and not be remotely passive.

Throwing shade is not always easy. There are tools out there to help you, like the noble emoji but it the pettiness and wit you possess within that must guide you. Now go forth and shade.

The Ruling: Not shade