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

You know when the entire technological world is conspiring against you? When they don’t want you to be great? When they don’t want you to correct the wrongs against shade? I do! After experiencing numerous technical difficulties today, I am finally here to serve my justice. My apologies for the delay.

Another week, another very full docket—for which I thank you all and your hawk-eyed shade sightings, and even those who willingly admit they still have no idea what shade is. I’ll guide you all equally.

In this week’s Shade Court, two public servants embarrass themselves, Demi Lovato tries it, and we do not deserve Michelle Obama.

Shade Court Docket #2016JZ000189

Images via Getty.

The Case: During the California U.S. Senate debate, candidate Loretta Sanchez didn’t feel she had to abide by the established time limits. As the moderator tried to get her to wrap it up, Sanchez talked over him until she finally closed her mouth and did this:

Following a rapid internal processing of how exactly she possibly could have arrived at this moment, her opponent Kamala Harris tried to laugh it off and responded:

“So there’s a clear difference between the candidates in this race...”

The Defendant: Los Angeles Times

The Evidence:

The Deliberation: In the context of Shade Court, I suppose this is Kamala Harris’s moment, but since she’s leading in the polls by two touchdowns, we’re going to shift our focus to Ms. Loretta “Migos” Sanchez over here.


I have this habit, when faced with lunacy, of asking a series of earnest questions that I of course will never get sane answers to. I continue to ask them anyway.

Woman. What in the entire topography of hell? Why must you terrorize us with this caucasian calamity when you’re not even caucasian? Did you plan this or did the spirit of Cam Newton possess you? Do you know that’s called the dab? What do you think that means? Do you think it’s some sort of formal salute appropriate for Senate debates? Were ya confused, ma’am, or did you know good and goddamn well what you were doing and forge ahead anyway? Did you, knowing you’ll probably lose this race, just throw your fucks out the window and try to get some headlines? Do you hate me?

Kamala’s sly little line was translation for: DID YOU JUST SEE THAT FOOL? What’s hard is that almost anything she said following that embarrassing attempt at youth would be construed as shade or some sort of clapback. Still, that was the absolute least she could say in response to that mess, and for her heroic self-control and commitment to decorum, she earns a shade badge.


On a related note, we, as a nation, are not going to make it into 2017, nor do we deserve to.

The Ruling: Shade (RIP to The Dab)

Shade Court Docket #2016JZ000190

Images via Getty

The Case: As she continues to stump for Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama also continues not to utter Donald Trump’s name. No one is committed to the long game like Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama.

The Defendant: Everyone

The Evidence:

The Deliberation: I’m reluctant to award this a shade verdict because it is a bit on the nose. If there was something in between shade and a clapback, this would be that. It would have been a touch shadier to tap her mic at random times throughout the speech, but that’s also kind of silly.


I’m going to give this to Michelle because the spirit of this shade—EVEN THOUGH I’M NOT GONNA TALK ABOUT YOU, KNOW THAT I SEE YOU—is in the right place.

The Ruling: Shade

Shade Court Docket #2016JZ000191

Images via Getty.

The Case: During oral arguments for some boring case about fraud, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer said some words:

“Even Kardashian’s thief, if there is one, believes that all that jewelry is insured. So, it’s not theft?”

The Defendant: TMZ, CNN, Celebuzz

The Evidence:

The Deliberation: Sir. My dude. What the whatty what what?

You are a SUPREME COURT JUSTICE. Do you know how much fun shit he had to say no to because he knew one day he wanted to be a Supreme Court justice? Is this his way of making up for lost time?? I don’t appreciate it!


I can understand an urge to call this shade, but it’s too obvious and heavy-handed for my taste and it’s so clearly a try-hard move from Justice Breyer to seem cool. Maybe it was a dare?

Either way, I want to bring him over to Loretta Sanchez’s house, sit them both down and deliver a motivational speech about how they are both enough, exactly as they are. They don’t need these deeply humiliating pandering stunts!

The Ruling: Not shade

Shade Court Docket #2016JZ000192

Images via Getty.

The Case: Demi Lovato sat down for an interview with Glamour to pimp some project. At one point, she was bragging about being a feminist—because that’s definitely how it works—when she was asked about Taylor Swift because Glamour’s got some stacks of glossy paper to move.

To be honest, and this will probably get me in trouble, I don’t see anybody in any sort of squad that has a normal body. It’s kind of this false image of what people should look like. And what they should be like, and it’s not real.

Glamour: Well, there are many kinds of “normal” bodies. I think what you’re getting at is there’s just one type of body in that squad.

Lovato: It’s not realistic. And I think that having a song and a video about tearing Katy Perry down, that’s not women’s empowerment. We all do things that aren’t, but I have to ask myself, Am I content with calling myself a feminist? Yes, because I speak out.

The Defendant: Elle Magazine, Perez Hilton, Vulture

The Evidence:


The Deliberation: You can’t hear me, but I’m doing the Tina Belcher groan right now.


Demi’s comments are very stupid of only because of the assumption that Taylor Swift, in any way shape or form, created or has any claim to, the term “squad.” I mean, goddamn, how do you people not remember Terror Squad and their bounty of jams? They gave us “Lean Back.” How quickly you fickle culture vultures forget their contributions to this nation.

Still, what I find most irritating about Demi’s comments is that, truly, they don’t make any sense. She says the bodies in Taylor Swift’s squad are not realistic when she must mean something else. Those women do, in fact, exist. Does she mean “average”? Oh yes, I think that’s what she was going for. But as this court is constantly trying to remind people, words mean things. Please use the correct ones!

Demi also touches on the notion that being mad at another woman is somehow not feminist. Now, I am solidly team Katy in this fight, but if Taylor Swift doesn’t like the woman, then she doesn’t like the woman! Her attitudes toward that one person has no bearing on her feminism. Further, if Katy Perry truly has wronged her, it seems like it would be the opposite of gender equality to treat her differently because she’s a woman.

But let’s hear from the real feminist here:

And I think that having a song and a video about tearing Katy Perry down, that’s not women’s empowerment. We all do things that aren’t, but I have to ask myself, Am I content with calling myself a feminist? Yes, because I speak out.

I mean, what? This is big bowl of alphabet soup being served at a freshman year women’s studies recitation at Wesleyan.


To be clear, I don’t care abut her “picking on” Taylor Swift because, frankly, when you’ve got this many people gunning for you, you probably deserve some of it. Also, celebrities are crazy people. All of them.

Finally, the court is mighty offended by Vulture’s title for this story. If you “not-so-subtly shade” someone, you are not shading them at all. Just like when water is no-so-wet, it ain’t water!

Repeat after me: “I don’t tell you you’re ugly but I don’t have to tell you because you know you’re ugly.”


My god, Ms. Corey laid that out in words more beautiful than we deserve and yet. YET.

The Ruling: Not shade