Talib Kweli has filed a lawsuit in New York Supreme Court against G/O Media and a Jezebel writer for an article published in 2020. The Black Star artist is seeking $300,000 in damages or half his salary, revealed the women-centric platform. According to the outlet, the thought-provoking rapper claims their article authored by writer Ashley Reese caused him “emotional distress.”
The story titled, “Talib Kweli’s Harassment Campaign Shows How Unprotected Black Women Are Online and Off,” detailed the social media interactions between Kweli and a 24-year-old student and activist named Maya Moody. The 12-hour or more exchange between the two resulted in the permanent suspension of Kweli’s Twitter account for violations of the platform’s rules.
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On Tuesday (August 9), Jezebel issued a statement about the lawsuit news with an article about the matter. Per the outlet, Kweli claimed that their article caused him “negligent infliction of emotional distress.” Kweli also says he “went into a depression state of loss of appetite, sleeplessness, edgy, anxiety, and discomfort around certain women.” The publication points out he filed the lawsuit on his own behalf and added that Jezebel treated him like a “guinea pig to clarify how black men treat black women.”
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Kweli also claims Jezebel tried to defame his character by painting him out to be “some monster that didn’t like black women, when 500k plus of his fans are black women, his ex-wife and child’s mother are black women, and his employees are black women.” According to the website, Kweli used his own lyrics from his 1998 single “Brown Skin Lady” as evidence that he didn’t “protect” Black women with his Twitter account and words. He cited the following lyrics:
“My brown lady creates environments for happy brown babies, I know it sounds crazy, but your skin’s the inspiration for cocoa butter. You provoke a brother; we should get to know one another I discover when I bring you through my people say TRUE, all I can say is all praise due I thank you God for a beauty like you [Talib] This goes to the brown skin ladies.”
A spokesperson from G/O Media issued the following statement about Kweli’s claims against the website: “Jezebel’s article fairly reported on the controversy which led to the permanent suspension of Talib Kweli’s Twitter account. This suit, filed two years after the story was published, has no merit and the company will be seeking our attorneys fees pursuant to the protections afforded to the press to publish stories about matters of public interest like this one.”
Jezebel ends their article by making it clear that they will stand by their story.
Give the original article written about Talib Kweli’s Twitter exchange a read here and take listen to “Brown Skin Lady” above.
What are your thoughts?