CNN Writer Whites Using Black Memes Is 'Digital Blackface,' Stop It

A CNN writer has spurred a healthy debate about Internet culture, and has posed the question of whether it's okay for white people to use Black memes ... he says it isn't.

John Blake published a piece Sunday that's gotten a big reaction online. It's titled, "What’s ‘digital blackface?’ And why is it wrong when White people use it?" In the analysis article, he makes his argument -- namely, using these memes/GIFs is modern-day minstrel show fare.

For starters, he describes digital blackface this way ... "[It] involves White people play-acting at being Black," citing a Teen Vogue writer who defined it. He goes on to quote that author as saying, "[T]he Internet thrives on White people laughing at exaggerated displays of Blackness, reflecting a tendency among some to see 'Black people as walking hyperbole.'"

Blake continues to reference Teen Vogue in zeroing in further ... "[Digital blackface] includes displays of emotion stereotyped as excessive: so happy, so sassy, so ghetto, so loud… our dial is on 10 all the time — rarely are black characters afforded subtle traits or feelings."

Now for the haymaker from Blake, who says digital blackface is wrong and that it should be halted. The reason ... he says it's embedded in racist traditions of making fun of Black people -- and while Twitter users in 2023 might not necessarily see it that way from the outside looking in, that's certainly how it's being perceived by many ... intentionally or not.

There are countless Black memes that the Internet regularly recycles -- including some that feature famous people from TV shows and/or movies -- but there's one that Blake focuses on in particular as his Exhibit A ... namely, the 2012 Sweet Brown interview from Oklahoma.

Brown had just experienced a legitimate tragedy at the time -- she was dealing with an apartment fire -- and while her remarks were animated/memorable ... they were coming from a serious place of fear. And yet, the internet made a whole autotune song out of it -- seemingly discounting her real-life feelings and simply making a joke out of the whole thing.

Ditto for Antoine Dodson's TV news interview from years ago, where his family also had just gone through a truly terrifying encounter -- but his comments also went viral.

As you can imagine ... Twitter is having a field day with this. Some are calling Blake's take absolutely absurd, and just another "woke" request. Others, however, are saying he's right.

Elon Musk Twitter's Worth Just $20 Bil, Y'all ... <Half My Purchase Price!!!

Elon Musk says Twitter is now worth less than half of what he bought it for -- and, if you'll recall, that was like $44 billion ... so, yeah, a BIG drop-off indeed.

The Chief Twit made the new valuation in a company-wide email he sent to remaining employees -- this per the NYT, which says it got its hands on a copy. In the internal memo, EM says Twitter is currently worth $20 billion ... $24 billion less than his purchase price.

While that may seem abysmal, Elon actually told his workers that -- for a time -- things were at risk of being much worse after he took the reins ... explaining Twitter was 4 months away from running out of money and going bankrupt at one point over the past several months.

In his note, he reportedly goes on to say that "radical changes" he's imposed were necessary to save money -- including the mass layoffs and other cost-cutting measures (i.e. auctions, etc.). The Times reports EM also said Twitter should be looked at as an "inverse start-up."

Now, as for why he was spilling these deets to the Twitter fam ... the Times says he was explaining their new stock compensation package. Basically, Twitter employees will receive stock grants for the holding company he used to buy Twitter -- the "X Corporation" -- which will operate under the current $20B estimate. Workers will then be able to sell and cash in on their privately held stock every six months. His other company, SpaceX, acts similarly.

One last thing ... apparently Elon has high hopes for Twitter. He wrote that he believes the bird app could one day be worth as much as $250 BILLION! *Insert Dr. Evil laugh*

Jonathan Majors' Attorney He's 'Completely Innocent' Claims Alleged Victim Has Recanted

Jonathan Majors' lawyer says there's evidence that'll prove he committed no crime against a woman who's alleged he assaulted her -- even claiming she's reversing her own story.

Criminal defense attorney Priya Chaudhry -- who's representing Majors in this matter -- tells TMZ ... "Jonathan Majors is completely innocent and is probably the victim of an altercation with a woman he knows. We are quickly gathering and presenting evidence to the District Attorney with the expectation that all charges will be dropped imminently."

She goes on to cite evidence she says they've already gathered to back up their version of events -- including video footage from within the vehicle where the alleged assault occurred, witness testimony from the driver and others who saw/heard the episode ... and, last but not least, two written statements that Chaudhry claims are from the alleged victim in this case.

Chaudhry insists the statements show her fully recanting her allegations, and she adds this will all be presented to the authorities in due time to prove her client did nothing wrong.

As for why Majors was arrested if all this stuff does, indeed, exist ... she tells us it's SOP in police departments to make an arrest after an allegation is levied and if there's probable cause to back up the claims. In this instance, the NYPD says there was ... visible injuries.

Chaudhry finishes with this ... "We expect these charges to be dropped soon. The DA will usually request orders of protection in these matters while they are being resolved." Majors has been charged with misdemeanor assault, aggravated harassment, attempted assault and harassment. He was released on his own recognizance and is due back in court in May.

In response to Majors' attorney's claims about the woman -- whom we've been told is a girlfriend of his -- the Manhattan D.A.'s Office tells TMZ ... the case is ongoing and they won't be commenting further on the details.

What they did say, however, is that a limited court ordered protection for the alleged victim has been put in place. The D.A. requested a full order of protection ... indicating that they feel the alleged victim needs a bigger forcefield.

BTW, there's a new U.S. Army ad campaign that Majors recently signed on to be the face of. Two ads starring him have been released, but they've since been yanked. The U.S. Army says they're doing their due diligence and will see how things play out before moving forward.

Taylor Swift On a Vegas Roll with Marcus Mumford!!!


Taylor Swift continues to blow fans away with one of the most well-received concert tours in years ... and this time a Mumford gave her an assist!

Taylor took her Eras Tour to Vegas Saturday night and the Allegiant Stadium was packed to the gills.

During her long set, she brought up a surprise guest -- Marcus Mumford.  The 2 performed "Cowboy Like Me,' with Taylor taking the lead and Marcus doing backup.

The fans were rabid, waiting more than 3 hours in line to buy some Swift merch. As for ticket prices ... well, an obstructed view seat on the secondary market went for north of $2k. Some of the premium tickets were topping $20k!!!

TikTok / @jjwatt

The concert, in which Taylor performs for hours without a break, has drawn high praise from the likes of former NFL star J.J. Watt, who was blown away at her kickoff concert in Glendale (aka Swift City) concert in Arizona.


Taylor is singing upwards of 40 songs in concerts that last more than 3 hours, which is insane, but the fans are lovin' it.

Harry Styles, Emily Ratajkowski Makin' Out Well in Tokyo!!!


Harry Styles has moved on ... and Emily Ratajkowski is feelin' the love!

Harry and Emily shared a passionate kiss with Emily Ratajkowski in Tokyo Saturday night, and they clearly didn't care people were watching.

The 2 had just left a nightclub and the video, obtained by DailyMail, unravels the mystery of who Harry is currently dating.

They were standing outside in the rain locking lips, after a night of dancing inside the club. They clearly want people to know at this point, they're a thing.

Harry is in Tokyo for his Love on Tour concert ... we don't know if Emily was at the show, but it's a good bet she was.


As you know, Harry and Olivia Wilde broke up last November, and over the last month, there's been a buzz he's dating someone new.

Now we know!

Amanda Bynes PSYCHIATRIC HOLD EXTENDED ... Not Talking To Anyone

Amanda Bynes is getting more of the professional care she needs ... her psychiatric hold has been extended and we're told she's seriously focusing on getting better.

Sources with direct knowledge tell TMZ ... Amanda remains hospitalized in Los Angeles and her stay has been extended for at least another week ... possibly more.

We're told Amanda isn't talking to anyone close to her ... it's unclear if she even remembers the days and nights she spent roaming the L.A. streets, sometimes naked and alone.


TMZ broke the story ... Amanda was placed on a psychiatric hold last weekend after she was found walking near Downtown L.A. without any clothes.

It appears Amanda may have been living on the streets for several days ... her car was towed in Long Beach on March 15, about 40 miles from her home, and people around her think she was getting around L.A. using public transit and hitchhiking.

Our sources say Amanda's car was out of gas when it was towed ... and she didn't have a cell phone on her when she was out and about.

We're told Amanda's left her house before and walked for miles ... folks around her believe she was in a manic phase.


Meanwhile, her ex-fiancé Paul Michael is telling people he hasn't lived with Amanda since January ... and she was last seen at the L.A.-area apartment she once shared with Paul a few days before her car was towed.

In the meantime, we're told there's no plan in place as to what Amanda will do once she leaves the psychiatric facility ... she's not communicating with anyone around her.

For now, we're told things are day-to-day ... if she doesn't get well soon, her hospital stay could be extended as long as 30 days.


It's been just over one year since Amanda's conservatorship was terminated ... but there aren't any plans to put the conservatorship back in action ... at least for now.

Stars and Scars You Be the Judge

TMZ broke the story ... the "VPR" reunion was nuclear, and Tom and Raquel were destroyed ... and the Tekashi beating was beyond brutal. So, we gotta ask ...

Who's Most At Fault In The 'Scandoval?'

I Want Tom And Raquel

Tekashi 6ix9ine Beatdown ...

Trump's Looming Stormy Daniels Case ...

Murdaugh-Linked Stephen Smith Murder

Whose Side You On In Custody War?

Whose Side You On In Ski Trial?

Tom And Gisele ...

There Were More Than 4 Planes Targeted On 9/11 ...

Dick Van Dyke Chinny Chinny Bang Bang ... Shows Off Injuries after Car Crash

HANGIN' IN THERE / Coleman-Rayner

Dick Van Dyke showed off his battle wounds Friday after his recent car accident, claiming the airbags didn’t deploy during the crash.

The beloved “Mary Poppins” icon, 97, was spotted out and about with his wife, 51-year-old Arlene Silver, and a younger pal.

Van Dyke pointed out two stitches in his chin after his car accident last week ... “I’m fine — just sore all over” ... assuring people he was doing “pretty good.”


“The airbags did not deploy, so I just had a face plant right in the steering wheel and it just made me a little dumber,” he quipped, with his infamous grin.

He brushed off the concerns about his well-being, saying he’s doing relatively ok ... “I’m 97 — all my friends are dead.”

The famed actor crashed his silver Lexus earlier this Month into a gate in Malibu while driving in wet conditions, apparently losing control of the wheel.

Photos from the accident show Van Dyke with blood on his mouth and nose, and paramedics treated him at the scene for his injuries and a possible concussion.

Officers don’t believe alcohol or drugs were involved in the slippery crash, but they reportedly requested that the actor retake his driving exam with the California Department of Motor Vehicles.

Just a few months prior, the “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” star was seen lamenting the Golden State’s drought, wishing for a wet spell, while visiting one of his favorite nonprofit organizations in October 2022.

“Is it ever going to rain?” he asked at the time when he was spotted driving the same vehicle involved in this month’s unfortunate crash.

A decade ago, Van Dyke was involved in a more serious car accident — that time, his vehicle burst into flames. Dick was driving on a California highway when he noticed smoke coming from the hood of his Jaguar.

Promptly pulling over to the side of the road, a hero bystander rushed to the star’s rescue and pulled him from the car just before it burst into flames.

The inferno torched the luxe car, but Van Dyke luckily escaped without a scratch.

“It just started making a noise, and I thought I had a flat at first, then it started to smoke, then it burned to a crisp,” he said at the time of the incident.

Ray Liotta Facebook Account Hacked ... Team Trying to Wrestle Back Control

Ray Liotta's Facebook account is no longer posting celeb death hoaxes and sending out weird links to fake news ... at least that's what his team's hoping, but seems like the mystery hacker isn't giving up that easily.

Here's the deal ... the late actor's Facebook account started posting a ton of strange things last week, like death hoaxes, news links and fake stories about Ellen DeGeneres, Bruce Willis, and Arnold Schwarzenegger -- all of which confused and alarmed fans who followed the late "Goodfellas" star.

Late this week, a rep for Ray's team told TMZ they'd finally resolved the issue by reaching out to Facebook and working with them to address the problem.

Or, so they thought. Shortly after we were told the account was secured ... another bizarre post -- for Ray's page, at least -- went up promoting a porn scene. It has since been removed.

We've reached out regarding the porn post, but no word back yet.

While his team told us they believed the account was back in good hands ... that doesn't seem to be the case.

The troubling part is it seems a mystery as to who's been hacking his page and how these posts keep ending up on his feed. All the old phony posts have been deleted, but it's clear someone is still using his account with ill intentions.

Despite the scary security breach, Ray's camp says Mark Zuckerberg's company has been "an amazing partner in resolving the issue."

As you know, Ray died in his sleep last May, when the 67-year-old was filming a movie in the Dominican Republic.

While he's now resting in peace ... his Facebook account is not.

Top NFL Draft Prospect Steve Avila Hoping To Stay In Dallas ... Meeting With Cowboys Soon


Top NFL draft prospect Steve Avila sure wouldn't mind blocking for Dak Prescott and Tony Pollard next season ... telling TMZ Sports "it would be, honestly, like, the best" if the Cowboys pick him next month.

The former TCU star offensive lineman -- an Arlington, Texas native -- has played all of his home football games for the entirety of his life in the Dallas area ... and he said if that could continue in the NFL, he'd be thrilled by it.

And, it seems there's a decent chance it all goes down ... the Cowboys need a new left guard after losing Connor McGovern in free agency. They also have the No. 26 pick in the first round, right around the time in the draft when Avila is expected to be selected.

The 23-year-old will have a chance to let America's Team know his feelings on the matter soon ... he's actually got an interview set up with the Cowboys in just a couple days.

Of course, Avila says while it would be a dream to wear the silver and blue -- he's open to everybody ... and has recently met with multiple teams, including the Falcons, Commanders, Jets and Lions.

As for when he'll get drafted, Avila says he fully expects to be taken within the first two rounds next month ... slamming anyone who thinks he'll fall to the third.

"I'm a humble person -- I hate talking about myself," he said. "But when I see that, I'm like, 'Dude.'"


Avila will keep things low-key on draft night -- he tells us a small party with friends and family is in the works. But, when the NFL money finally comes in, he says he'll look into ballin' out a bit, with the goal of snagging a new Mercedes and a new house.

The draft officially kicks off in Kansas City on April 27.


By the way, Avila also shared some stories from his experience at the NFL's combine earlier this month ... telling us he had a wild interview with Atlanta -- while some of his pals had some unique talks with teams in Indianapolis, too.

Jhené Aiko Dude, Come Back with My Range!!! Car Stolen From Valet

Jhené Aiko's in the market for a new luxury SUV after the worst possible restaurant valet experience -- witnessing a thief make off with her vehicle.

Law enforcement tells TMZ ... Jhené went out to dinner with family last weekend, grabbing a bite at L.A.'s Tasty Noodle House. She walked away from her white 2020 Range Rover around 8:30 PM Saturday.

We're told when the singer arrived she gave the valet her keys, then went inside to eat. Typical night out up to that point.

But, about 30 minutes later, Jhené saw someone drive away in her Range. We're told she figured the valet staff was just moving it, but it was never returned.


It's unclear who made the clean getaway; it wasn't any of the valet drivers, but cops say there was an extra key inside the SUV --- which, obviously, made things a lot easier for the car thief.

Police are investigating ... no arrests at this point, and no sign of Jhené's Range Rover.

Pretty sure Jhené's reaction is ... that's some bulls***!!!

Celebrity Scramble Guess Who!

Behind this cleft chin cutout is an Internet personality who enjoys handing out Lamborghinis and stacks of cash. As a guy who's always on the go, it's a good thing he's got his childhood bestie -- and now president of his brand -- Natalie Mariduena to help run the show!

From his OG days on Vine to his lucrative days on YouTube, this pizza lover has definitely made a pretty penny off his content creations, leveraging his earnings into various business ventures like a phone app and a restaurant.

Hand this guy a tennis racket and see if you can score this scramble!

Ant Anstead Unloads Laguna Beach Home ... But Not Going Far!!!

Ant Anstead is looking for a small change of scenery ... TMZ has learned he's sold his O.C. home, but he's hoping to stay in the neighborhood.

Real estate sources tell TMZ ... the "Celebrity IOU: Joyride" host sold his 3-bedroom, 2-bath, 1,968-square-foot Laguna Beach pad on Monday with the closing price of $3.1 million. Ant bought the place for $2.8 million a few years back.

We're told he plans to find a new place in Laguna, although he hasn't found the right spot to call home just yet -- but he's not the only one leaving his old block.

Our sources say Ant's GF Renée Zellweger moved out of the house across the street from Ant's home last summer. As we reported, Renée started renting that place in November 2021 for $30k/month.

You'll recall, the Discovery+ personality listed his pad in October of last year and began storing his stuff at Renée's home.

At the time, our sources made it clear, Ant's intentions were NOT to move in with her ... and we're told that's still the case.

Whoever snagged Ant's now-former pad got quite the spread -- it has cool features like vaulted ceilings, a brick fireplace for those SoCal winter nights (climate change, bro) and a sunroom that can be transformed into a studio.

Plus, there's a wraparound deck to take in incredible Pacific Ocean views -- those are great year-round, even in the winter.

Azita Sadeghi of Compass held the listing.

Kell Mitchell Good Genes Or Good Docs?!

Kel Mitchell's looks over the years are "all that" and more!

Striped uniform and all ... Here is an 18-year-old version of the Nickelodeon star in all his "Good Burger" glory back in 1997 (left). This was three years after he started his acting career on Nickelodeon's "All That."

And, 26 years later, the handsome and scruffy actor recently hit up Jimmy Fallon with his TV partner in crime Kenan Thompson where they broke the news "Good Burger 2" is in the works!

He may be bringin' back the orange soda after all these years, but the question is ...

Kel Mitchell ...

Jason Sudeikis, Olivia Wilde Get Together for Son's Soccer Game ... Amid Custody Battle

Jason Sudeikis and Olivia Wilde are hot and cold -- one minute they're duking it out in court, the next they're all kumbaya in public ... and this time, it's the latter they're showing.

The exes were spotted attending their son's soccer game together in L.A. Saturday, and wouldn't you know it -- they actually looked super happy and chill around one each other ... even sitting in the stands side by side, and giving one another a huge on the way out.


It's interesting they were acting this way out in the open ... for a couple reasons, actually.

For starters, we saw similar behavior from Jason and Olivia earlier this year -- when they were hugging it out after apparently leaving some sort of meeting they were both at. At the time, it seemed everything between them was water under a bridge ... but it wasn't.

Since then ... we know they've been waging war behind the scenes, filing court paperwork in their ongoing custody battle ... with Olivia recently taking home a big W. As we reported ... a judge finally ruled that their case will be heard in L.A. and not in NY (where JS wanted).

Remember, they share two young children together ... Otis and Daisy, who are 8 and 6, respectively. The family had lived in the Big Apple for a while -- but the courts have now decided, once and for all hopefully, that their primary residence is, in fact, in Los Angeles.

Perhaps this latest outing is them actually turning a new leaf and waiving the white flag -- or, it could just be optics. However cynical you are will dictate where you land.

One other reason this is kinda neat to see ... Jason is very famous for playing Ted Lasso in the self-titled Apple show, which is a huge hit -- and whose third season just started.

Funny enough, Jason's character in the show is also going through divorce and custody issues ... and now, here's the real dude showing up to a soccer game. Art/life/imitate, etc.

Jonathan Majors Arrested in NYC for Assaulting Woman Rep: He's Done Nothing Wrong


5:03 AM PT -- A judge released Majors without bail at his Saturday night arraignment in Manhattan Criminal Court. Prosecutors charged the actor with misdemeanor assault, aggravated harassment, attempted assault and harassment. Majors is due back in court in May.


4:44 PM PT -- Here's what allegedly happened in the lead-up to this. Per our law enforcement sources, police were told that the alleged victim is Majors' girlfriend -- and, according to her, they got into an argument while in a taxi returning home from a bar in Brooklyn.


Our sources say police were told the girlfriend saw another woman texting Majors, and she confronted him -- trying to sneak a peek at his phone. We're told the alleged victim/GF claims this got Majors mad, and that he allegedly grabbed her hand and allegedly slapped her.


We're also told the alleged victim claims he put his hands around her neck during this. Our sources say the woman was dropped off somewhere and that JM spent the night elsewhere. It appears the girlfriend went to police the following morning (Sat.) and reported a crime.

Jonathan Majors was arrested in New York City this weekend -- and, according to police, he's being accused of putting hands on a woman ... but Jon's team is calling BS.

Law enforcement sources tell us the actor was booked Saturday morning on charges of strangulation, assault and harassment. We're told cops responded to a call for service around 11 AM ET near the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan.

We're told the alleged victim in this case, a female, relayed to police that Majors had gotten into a dispute with her and proceeded to attack her. Their exact relationship is unknown.

Our sources tell us the alleged victim had visible injuries -- including a laceration behind her ear, redness and marks to her face. She was taken to an area hospital and is in stable condition. As for Majors ... he was cuffed and taken to jail on the spot, as police felt there was enough evidence for probable cause. We're hearing he is currently out of custody.

Majors is a huge celeb these days -- he's been in everything from Marvel's latest 'Ant-Man' movie to Michael B. Jordan's 'Creed III' flick ... and other blockbusters as well over the past couple years. The guy has gotten rave reviews for his performances, and is seen as a rising star. He was even at the Oscars a few weeks ago, and was among the many presenters.

A rep for Majors tells TMZ ... "He's done nothing wrong. We look forward to clearing his name and clearing this up."

Originally Published -- 4:05 PM PT

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