Hello Shade Court devotees. Let me apologize for last week’s unexpected hiatus. The Rachel Dolezal tornado hit and my complete fascination at the utter absurdity of that woman overtook me. But now that’s over, and we’re back.

In this week’s Shade Court, Donald Trump is on the receiving end of the DNC’s smart mouth, Riley Curry makes a cameo appearance and more invented shade between Katy Perry and Taylor Swift.

Shade Court Docket #2015JZ000093

The Case: This week, Madonna released a video for her single, “Bitch, I’m Madonna.” Eyebrows raised oh-so-slightly as some noticed the similarity between the art for Madonna’s video and Taylor Swift’s much-hyped “Bad Blood.”

Both videos utilized the punchy black and red color combination and included so many cameos that it made you wonder what the pop divas were overcompensating for.


Anyway, the inclusion of Katy Perry in Madonna’s video is what has some crying shade. At this point, it’s pretty clear that Katy Perry and Taylor Swift hate each other. The argument is that Madonna’s copycat video and Katy Perry’s involvement equals shade thrown at Taylor Swift.

The Defendant: Popsugar

The Evidence:

The Deliberation: As soon as I saw Madonna’s poster, I knew this case would arise. However, reading into all this as shade doesn’t hold water for a couple of reasons.


First, while the promotional image for “Bitch, I’m Madonna” strongly resembles “Bad Blood,” the aesthetic of the actual video is completely different. Obviously Madonna couldn’t just straight-up copy Taylor’s video (although that wouldn’t be her first rodeo), but if she was really trying to throw a few daggers, she needed a stronger reference in the finished product.

Secondly, half the cameos in Madonna’s video are fellow Tidal investors who, at the most, were probably contractually obligated to appear, and at the least, lent a hand because they have a strong interest in their investment going well. Plus, Katy Perry is in the video for about three seconds.

The thing about this whole Katy Perry vs. Taylor Swift mess is that neither has been particularly subtle about their dislike for the other. You could argue that some of Katy’s jabs were in the realm of shade—her Super Bowl performance, for example—but neither seems particularly interested in hiding their dislike.

Also, it’s Madonna in 2015. “Subtle” hasn’t been in that woman’s vocabulary possibly ever.

The Ruling: Not shade

Shade Court Docket #2015JZ000094

The Case: Donald Trump, a man who will never be president, announced on Tuesday his bid to waste everybody’s damn time. The DNC released a statement of its own following Trump’s announcement.

The Defendant: The Democratic National Committee

The Evidence:

The Deliberation: Holly, girl, I don’t know you but I love you. I like to imagine Holly sitting down to write this release with the intention of shading the hell out of Donald Trump. Shade, however, requires some restraint—restraint that I know is hard to exercise when it comes to somebody as imbecilic and obnoxious as Donald Trump.


She almost had it. The first sentence of the second paragraph definitely starts on shady ground—she’s simply stating a fact, albeit a fact that makes the field for Republican nominees look like a free for all.

However, Holly had to do it—she probably wanted to simply insinuate that Donald Trump is a plum fool, but I completely understand why she chose to abandon all finesse. Holly went in a little too hard with the sarcasm, but it was excellent nonetheless.

The Ruling: Not shade; great burn

Shade Court Docket #2015JZ000095

The Case: Kim Kardashian took to Twitter to complain about Armani discontinuing her favorite foundation. In doing so, she misspelled the Italian designer’s first name. Luckily, the Armani social media team was there to assist her.

The Defendant: Armani

The Evidence:

The Deliberation: This case could easily go either way. Since we have no idea who actually wrote this tweet, much of it hinges on what you imagine this person to be like.


Imagining a person who finds Kim Kardashian irritating isn’t hard, so let’s assume that that was at least part of the motivation here. You also have to imagine that this person is a little fed up with their job and not especially polite.

If they simply wanted to correct her, they should have just spelled his name correctly in the reply and not draw any attention to her mistake. But, LOL since when are low paid fashion denizens polite?

Personally I would have just worked his first name into the tweet and put it in quotes: Dear Kim—let us know which one you need and we’ll get “Giorgio” Armani to send it to you.


At the core, they really are just correcting her—trying to help her even. But the underlying message is clearly: Girl we’ve given you HOW MUCH free stuff and you still can’t spell this man’s name correctly?

I’m going to allow it.

The Ruling: Shade

Shade Court Docket #2015JZ000096

The Case: This one is from last week but I had to include it for the Riley Curry factor alone.

The Defendant: Ayesha Curry

The Evidence:

The caption reads:

Nothing like #roaracle arena!!! Riley slept through the entire first half both nights here in Cleveland! Can’t wait to get back home to the bay!!! #2moretogo We bring the noise in the bay.

The Deliberation: What I love about this post is how Ayesha distracts us from her shadiness with an adorable photo of Riley. You’re almost too busy gazing upon that angelic face to realize what has just happened.


She doesn’t come out and say that Cleveland has shitty fans who don’t even cheer loudly for their team, but that’s what she means. Also, her baby is cuter than yours.

The Ruling: Shade

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

Images via Getty, AP, Armani, Ayesha Curry’s Instagran, the DNC. Top image by Tara Jacoby, featuring the shade artist at a young age.

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