The Controversy Behind The “Brooklyn Dad Defiant” Is Weirder Than You’d Think

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Lydia Wang
·3 min read
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With nearly 900,000 followers, Majid Padellan (known as @mmpadellan, Brooklyn Dad Defiant, or just Brooklyn Dad) is one of Twitter’s most vocal supporters of Joe Biden. It comes with some confusion, though, as the account prides itself on being a whistleblower and steadfast liberal. But during the past election cycle, Padellan received backlash from leftists for, among other things, urging Bernie Sanders to drop out of the presidential race and discrediting Tara Reade‘s allegations of sexual assault. Now, he’s facing renewed backlash amid revelations that he accepted tens of thousands in donations from a Democratic PAC.

On Tuesday, several tweets began circulating with evidence that Really American, a pro-Biden PAC, paid Brooklyn Dad nearly $60,000 in 2020. In his bio, he says that he works for the PAC as a “senior advisor,” but many users began arguing that major Democratic donors are paying him to espouse certain opinions and theories with his large following.

Behold, the receipts:

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There are also the inevitable jokes about Brooklyn Dad getting paid to tweet comments on the Bidens’ sex life and strange critiques of Phoebe Bridgers’ recent SNL performance. He was also mocked for likening Dr. Jill Biden to a “mommy.”

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Since Biden took office, Padellan has continuously tweeted out his support for the new administration and defended the president from criticism surrounding the rollout of stimulus checks, the fact that he hasn’t yet held a solo press conference, and more.

Some don’t think this is at all controversial news: public figures and influencers are often paid to share certain content on social media, and Brooklyn Dad’s supporters argue that his job with Really American is no different. “Am I the only one who doesn’t give a shit if Brooklyn Dad (and all the others on both sides of the fence) get paid to share their opinions?” one user wrote. “Isn’t that the goal of all influencers?”

However, influencers typically disclose when they’re getting paid to promote a product or service. According to his website, Padellan’s account was born of a “passion for sharing his thoughts and knowledge, and for truth-talking whilst rebuking nay-sayers, about the U.S. political climate and its key and corrupt figures.” No matter what, exactly, Brooklyn Dad is being paid to do, critics argue that his lack of transparency calls this aim into question.

The controversy’s grimmest implication, of course, relates to Brooklyn Dad’s most questionable tweets: his criticisms of Reade, and his since-deleted suggestions that Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has been accused of sexual harassment, might be the victim of a smear campaign.

Although Padellan often rightfully calls out Donald Trump and the GOP for their abusive policies and personal behavior, he’s been criticized for failing to hold other Democrats accountable for the same things. Brooklyn Dad hasn’t directly responded to the backlash, but he has retweeted several posts defending his right to be compensated for his work. Refinery29 has reached out to Padellan for comment.

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