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

Box wine. That’s all I’m going to say, guys. Lots and lots of box wine.

In this week’s Shade Court, Mashable is in the dark, a love triangle rages on, and sometimes a picture is worth all the shade in the world.

Shade Court Docket #2017JZ000013

Images via Getty.

The Case: In case you missed it or simply didn’t care, Selena Gomez and The Weeknd are still dating and/or milking each other for publicity. His ex-girlfriend Bella Hadid is still pissed, it seems, and her fellow nepotism benefactors are expressing their support.

Hailey Baldwin, who briefly dated Justin Bieber after he dated Selena Gomez, is one of those supporters.

The Defendant: TMZ, Hollywood Life

The Evidence:

The Deliberation: Let me now present one of the worst paragraphs in the history of the English language from Hollywood Life’s story:

Also, did you notice how Hailey capitalized the word, “WHO” in her mysterious tweet. Then, she followed up with, “literally nobody.” Hail, girl… did you mean Selena? We’re not trying to spark a fire here, because it seems like Hails might have done that herself; But it does look suspicious. Ever since her tweet went live, fans have been speculating that it was a straight up diss to Sel.

If I have to continue breathing oxygen in and out of my lungs with full knowledge of that passage, then so does everyone else because my misery DEMANDS company.


Hailey probably is trying to throw a dig at Selena, but great googly moogly this is dumb. On the other hand, there’s a good chance this is just the way Hailey Baldwin talks and she was simply trying to pay her friend a compliment. I find that explanation at least as likely as a shade attempt And, more to the point, even if this was her trying to shade Selena, I’m not in the mood to taint the halls of these hallowed chambers with such pedestrian shade.

The Ruling: Not shade

Shade Court Docket #2017JZ000014

Images via Getty.

The Case: At the Screen Actor’s Guild Awards last weekend, celebrities waved their political flags high with numerous references to Donald Trump’s fuckery throughout the ceremony.

The Defendant: Mashable

The Evidence:

The Deliberation: Mashable.


What the hell?

Where are your friends? A good friend would have looked at this and said: Nice try, but Judge Brown is going to throw you in the gulag under Ru Paul’s wig studio if you publish such nonsense.


Maybe we need to take a few steps back. I know I’ve said that omitting the name of the shade recipient a sign of shade, but there’s got to be a bit more to it than that, folks. I mean, OBVIOUSLY they’re talking about Donald Trump. Who in the hell else would it be? This complete lack of ambiguity sort of makes the Voldemort Rule (as I’ve just applied it here) moot.

This was not shade. These were public declarations of anger and distress about the “president” and support for those he is hurting. COME ON GUYS. They threw shade at a muslim ban? Is that something you want on the books?

Shade, I would argue, is mostly a lighthearted, petty endeavor. Shade is not strong political dissonance. Shade is not a long, impassioned speech while Winona Ryder stands next to you looking confused as hell. Shade ain’t any of this.

The Ruling: Not shade

Shade Court Docket #2017JZ000015

Images via Getty.

The Case: Charles Barkley is a fool who used to play basketball. Recently, he’s been running his mouth about Lebron James calling him “whiney” and generally being an old hatin’ ass hater. This other Charles dude—last name Oakley—used to play basketball against Charles Barkley and came to Lebron’s defense this week via the microblogging platform,

The Defendant: Sports illustrated

The Evidence:

The Deliberation: Props to Oakley because that was RATHER funny. I’m not sure why I find “he need to stop drinking at work” so funny, but boy do I! That’s such a great insult because it’s so damn dumb. It’s hard to hit back against a really stupid insult because you’re going to look even dumber trying to counter.


Here, again, we see the Voldemort Rule taken too far. He’s quite clearly talking about Charles Barkley and didn’t even bother with a clever ruse to throw anyone off the scent. Plus, he straight-up called him a crazy drunk who shouldn’t be allowed on television. Great burn, but that’s about it.

After a solid victory not too long ago, the sports men take an L here in Shade Court. Better luck next time.

The Ruling: Not shade

Shade Court Docket #2017JZ000016

Images via AP and Getty.

The Case: Former White House photographer Pete Souza has had an active week on Instagram sharing some gems from Barack Obama’s presidency. His posts included:

A shot of Obama knocking back tequila with the president of Mexico:

Barack Obama hanging with his Supreme Court pick Merrick Garland:

Photos he took during the Kosovo refugee crisis:

And Barack Obama having the time of his life with the Prime Ministers of New Zealand and Australia:

The Defendant: CNN, Teen Vogue

The Evidence:

The Deliberation: Oh yes, I see you Pete. Throughout the week, Pete broke up these posts with a few more innocuous photos, perhaps as a diversion. Still, the message was clear.


In case you’ve been lucky enough to somehow know nothing about the utter destruction Trump is waging against our country, let me be your messenger of doom and gloom.

This fool is doubling down on that asinine border wall and as a result, President Enrique Peña Nieto (the one pictured with President Obama) cancelled his scheduled trip to Washington. President Bannon enacted a Muslim ban which includes denying asylum to Syrian refugees. Because he still thinks he’s the host of a television show, Trump announced his Supreme Court pick during primetime television despite the fact that Merrick Garland was nominated and never given a chance to be confirmed.

And finally (at least as far as this list is concerned), on Wednesday, Trump managed to get in a fight with the Prime Minister of motherfucking Australia, presumably because Ivanka forgot to burp him after his 3 pm graham crackers and peanut butter break.


It should now be clear what Pete Souza was doing here. I’ll admit, I don’t love the caption on the Merrick Garland photo because I think this works better when he’s simply presenting matter of fact background information on the images. He tried to get a little too sassy with the Garland post. Still, Souza seems to have learned from his boss very well.

It pains me to rule in favor of CNN because their track record is so embarrassing, but here we are. I’m also a touch disappointed in Teen Vogue’s wishy-washiness—live in your shade proclamation if you’re going to make one! The worst thing that can happen is you suffer a brutal defeat against me, Judge Brown, here in Shade Court. And trust me, there are worse things.

The Ruling: Shade