Good lord was this a busy week. Welcome to Shade Court—I think the world is regressing.

In this week’s Shade Court, Grace Jones is insulted, the Daily Dot loses its mind and the Duggars come through in a strange way.

Shade Court Docket #2015JZ000139

The Case: Excerpts from Grace Jones’ upcoming memoir hit the press this week. In those excerpts, we learned that Grace Jones does not think super highly of many of today’s biggest entertainers. To make sure she made herself completely clear, Ms. Jones named names.

Trends come along and people say, ‘Follow that trend.’ There’s a lot of that around at the moment: ‘Be like Sasha Fierce. Be like Miley Cyrus. Be like Rihanna. Be like Lady Gaga. Be like Rita Ora and Sia. Be like Madonna.’ I cannot be like them — except to the extent that they are already being like me.

She gives plenty of opinions.

They dress up as though they are challenging the status quo, but by now, wearing those clothes, pulling those faces, revealing those tattoos and breasts, singing to those fractured, spastic, melting beats — that is the status quo. You are not off the beaten track, pushing through the thorny undergrowth, finding treasure no one has come across before. You are in the middle of the road. You are really in Vegas wearing the sparkly full-length gown singing to people who are paying to see you but are not really paying attention. If that is what you want, fine, but it’s a road to nowhere.

And she refers to the following list of people as her pupils: Lady Gaga, Madonna, Annie Lennox, Katy Perry, Rihanna, Miley, Kanye West, FKA twigs.


She said a bunch of other stuff and called out Rihanna and Nicki Minaj pointedly but, again, you get the picture.

The Defendant: All y’all

The Evidence:

The Deliberation: I truly thought we had made some progress, my friends. I thought that my tireless work here in Shade Court had helped to shift the media landscape oh so slightly towards the direction of not looking like a total fool. And yet, here we are. So many people are so, so wrong.


Grace Jones is dragging these poor souls around with no mercy. She has strapped them all to her chariot and is doing a victory lap around a sold-out arena. She held no punches and did not pretend to be polite. She listed some of the most relevant pop stars of the time and called them all uncreative copycats.

She dissected their entire careers and pointed quite specifically to all the ways she views them as weak. If this is shade, then I’m Donald Trump’s running mate.

What I find most offensive here is that all these writers are trying to put this sorry excuse for shade on Grace Motherfucking Jones. Do not ever disrespect Grace Jones like this again.

The Ruling: Not shade

Shade Court Docket #2015JZ000140

The Case: Kris Jenner blackmailed someone at the New York Times to write a story about all the things Kylie Jenner puts on and in her body.

The Defendant: The New York Times

The Evidence:

The Deliberation: This headline is obviously a play on the whole “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” schtick and perhaps also a reference to this family’s egomaniacal need to share every pedestrian detail about their lives. However, therein lies the beauty: plausible deniability.

It is because the phrase “How She keeps It Real” can so easily be assumed as a branded Kardashian reference that this shade works.

Let’s cut to the chase: Very little is “real” about Kylie Jenner at this point. She’s got those big fake lips, the dye-jobs and hair extensions, all that makeup, the maybe/probably boob job. Look, you may like the way Kylie looks, Tyga probably does, but you can’t seriously argue that there is a whole lot of realness going on here.

I’ll admit, this may not have been on purpose, but the universe has a way of doing what’s right.

The Ruling: Shade

Shade Court Docket #2015JZ000141

The Case: The Duggars are bad people. That’s not really relevant to much of this, but I just felt that it needed to be said.


Anyway, Jim Bob Duggar’s niece, Amy Duggar, got married recently during a wedding filled with such heathen delights as alcohol, dancing and dresses without straps. Seeing as how the Duggars are offended by these Earthly joys and less so by child molestation, it is unsurprising that they would respond in some way.

The Duggars, did indeed attend the wedding, but followed it up with this Facebook post:

The Defendant: Slate

The Evidence:

Via Slate:

It’s a shame Michelle Duggar hates gay culture, because this is a gorgeously campy attempt to throw shade. Pretending to honor your niece’s wedding by posting pictures of your daughter’s oh-so-modest one instead? It takes a master to shame a bride while pretending that you’re congratulating her.

The Deliberation: They completely redirected all attention from their niece’s wedding to their daughter Jessa’s wedding, which I assume better suited their hypocritically chase sensibilities.


They made sure to include a nice shoutout for Amy so as to throw us off their scent. Under the guise of celebrating their niece, they changed lanes and threw it back to the real Duggars. This was good work.

However, let’s not get ridiculous with all this talk of Michelle Duggar being a master at shade. She pulled off this one time, don’t go crazy.

The Ruling: Shade

Shade Court Docket #2015JZ000142

The Case: The Daily Dot was desperately in search of content that the youth can relate to and allowed one of its writers to just make shit up. They published an article titled: Your favorite ‘90s TV catchphrses were all about shade.

Someone then proceeded to ranked 90s catchphrases by their shadiness.

The Defendant: The Daily Dot

The Evidence:

The rankings:

1) “You got it, dude,” Full House

2) “Did I do that?” Family Matters

3) “Who loves orange soda? Kel loves orange soda. Is it true? I do, I do, I do,” Kenan & Kel

4) “Oh my god, they killed Kenny!” South Park

The Deliberation: Obviously this is untrue and makes no absolutely sense. Perhaps if it had been a bit funny I might be more lenient, but nope.


Each ranking included some convoluted story about how each phrase could maybe potentially be used to shade someone. These twisted explanations have absolutely no bearing on the shadiness of the line itself. A whole bunch of phrases could be used to shade someone if delivered properly and in the correct context.

This is embarrassing.

The Ruling: Not shade

And now for a new and hopefully not permeant section of Shade Court where I throw down some rapid fire rulings because they are so obviously not shade and they don’t deserve my full attention.






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