Hello world, Shade Court is in session, and oh are the scales of justice in action today.

In this week’s Shade Court, Mariah Carey teaches a masterclass, more stupid memes and did the New York Times throw shade at me?

Shade Court Docket #2015JZ000077

The Case: Following the magnificent implosion of E!’s Fashion Police, Kathy Griffin was in full “shit, I gotta save my career” mode. Some of that damage control included statements about how different her brand of humor was from the show’s. Seeing as how the only person anyone could name from Fashion Police was Joan Rivers, many took that as a personal jab at the late comedienne. Melissa Rivers was one of those people.

“My biggest complaint was the feeling that she kind of s— all over my mother’s legacy in her statement on leaving. And I know that was not an intentional reading of it, but that’s how I felt… by calling the comedy and style of it old-fashioned. It was like, I understand what you were doing, you’re trying to save yourself, but don’t crap all over my mother to do it.”

The Defendant: Hollywood Life

The Evidence:

The Deliberation: Can you imagine if the team at your job consisted of Melissa Rivers, Kathy Griffin and Giuliana Rancic? Let’s all briefly give thanks to whatever god we believe in for not having to sit around that insanity of a conference table.

Saying that a person “kind of shit all over” something is probably never going to be shade. Let’s just leave it at that.

The Ruling: Not shade

Shade Court Docket #2015JZ000078

The Case: Mariah Carey sort of has a new show in Las Vegas and girlfriend’s got tickets to sell. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Mariah Carey discussed the difference between online and newspapers, her plethora of number one hits and, of course, Madonna.

The Defendant: Mariah Carey

The Evidence:

The new single, “Infinity” closes the show — is that a sense of the new direction?

I had just written it the night before we had our meeting. It was a perfect bookend and works perfectly with “Vision of Love.” It’s interesting to me.

“Infinity” reminds me of a combination of “Touch My Body,” “Obsessed,” “We Belong Together” and “Vision of Love.” I did it with Eric Hudson. He’s a great young producer. Actually his parents wrote “Holiday” for Madonna.

The Deliberation: Watching Mariah Carey throw shade must be what it feels like to watch Daniel Day-Lewis craft a new accent and special limp or witnessing Martha Stewart fold a fitted sheet: an unequivocal master thriving in their element.


Notice how Empress Mariah makes sure to mention that Eric Hudson is young. Youth! Mariah works with youth because she is young and youthful and divas don’t age and Mariah is a di-VAH, daaaahling. Youth.

She essentially called Madonna old and sort of washed up without even having to peer over her sunglasses. That little tidbit about Eric Hudson’s parents writing for Madonna is so hilariously unnecessary to the question, yet she weaves it in with the deft and subtly of Jane Fonda’s plastic surgeon.

Mariah Carey is the one true living shade queen.

The Ruling: Shade of the highest order

Shade Court Docket #2015JZ000079

The Case: The dubiously-named DJ White Shadow is a producer who works frequently with Lady Gaga—so, ok. He recently posted a meme on his Instagram which strongly suggests that Iggy Azalea makes trash music.

The Defendant: Idolator

The Evidence:

The Deliberation: I actually urge you take a moment and read the full post on Idolator because it is one of the most unintentionally funny things I’ve read in awhile. The author is aghast—aghast I tell you—that someone who works with Lady Gaga, who is supposedly all about love and positivity on the internet, would post such an offensive meme.

The I-G-G-Y hate bandwagon reached full capacity in 2014 and newcomers simply come across as bullies.

Or they just come across as people with functioning ears and a basic understanding of decency, BUT WHERE IS KERMIT WITH MY TEA?


Anyway, this dumbass, if not somewhat accurate, meme is not in the least bit shady. Idolator, I rebuke you. However, it should be noted that shading Iggy Azalea is still a better use of one’s time than listening to her music.

The Ruling: Not shade

Shade Court Docket #2015JZ000080

The Case: The New York Times Magazine published a piece titled, “The Underground Art of the Insult,” which accurately explains shade to middle aged white people. The story, written by former Jezebel editor Anna Holmes, is an good piece about a vernacular born and bred by a specific group of people of non-straight white people that manages not to offend because they actually got someone who has a clue as to what they’re talking about. I point this out because in the past, this has not been their strong suit.


HOWEVER, keen readers will notice a suspicious lack of mention of both Shade Court and the Honorable Judge Brown who was been presiding over the highest court in the land since October of 2014.

Our own Erin Gloria Ryan noticed the omission.

The Defendant: The New York Times edit desk


The Deliberation: I will take the onus off of Anna because I believe her that there was an earlier mention and she didn’t edit the piece. I’m looking at you, edit desk.


The piece isn’t terribly long so I understand her point in that regard. Still, the one detail that gives me pause is the inclusion of quotes from another shade aficionados and writers. So, an article explaining the art of shade with no mention of Shade Court, but input from other shade experts? Is that...are we witnessing shade inception? Why yes, I believe we are.

In a way, it’s actually sort of an honor to be shaded in an article about throwing shade because it shows that I’ve actually taught these people something. (Yes, I’m taking credit because nobody can stop me.) Was this a test? Retaliation? Did the NYT edit desk just wake up and not give a fuck that day? We’ll probably never know for sure, but remember, where there is shade, there is Judge Brown just around the corner with a side-eye that could ruin your entire life with a single glance.

The Ruling: Shade

Images via Getty. Top image by Tara Jacoby, featuring the shade artist at a young age.

Contact the author at kara.brown@jezebel.com .

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