'Hide Your Kids, Hide Your Wife' Antoine Dodson OK with White People Using Black Memes ... They Pay Top Dollar!!!


Antoine Dodson -- the guy who became Internet famous for a very memorable interview says he's fine with white people using Black memes ... because they pay for it, literally.

We spoke to the viral star -- whose iconic quotes from the 2010 WAFF news piece, including "hide your kids, hide your wife," were turned into a catchy song -- and he weighed in on the CNN digital Blackface controversy. As it turns, out, he has quite a bit to say about it.

Antoine tells us the argument that whites are maliciously mocking African Americans -- intentionally or otherwise -- through the use of GIFs/memes just isn't his experience. If anything, he says he's only encountered reverence from Caucasians for his own meme fame ... which has translated to cold hard cash when they hire him as talent. Top dollar, at that.

Check out AD's perspective for yourself, because the way he breaks this down is unique ... and sorta scathing. He says if anyone has made him into a joke, it's other Black people.

Antoine says he doesn't really do Black-sponsored engagements 'cause it doesn't compare to the treatment he might get from whites. As he puts it ... if white people are only out to make him a punchline for their amusement, they're going to expensive lengths to do so.

Bottom line ... Antoine feels like the notion we gotta restrict white people's meme usage is ridiculous -- which is how a lot of Twitter users felt about it this weekend, frankly.

While some might agree with the writer, John Blake, the consensus seems to go in the opposite direction -- and Antoine's in that camp. BTW, he also touches on his sister's real-life scary incident being turned into humor ... and he explains why he's good with that too.

Last year Antoine got into the adult beverage business partnering with an Alabama brewery to craft "Run N Tell That" lager and just recently launched his own hot sauce.

Oh, and it sounds like Antoine was actually approached for comment on that CNN article. His response to us here might explain why they didn't include any quotes from him. 😅

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.

CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta AI's Gonna Impact Health Care ... Here's the Good & Bad


Dr. Sanjay Gupta says artificial intelligence is going to have an effect on health care one way or another ... and while he thinks it'll be mostly positive, there are also downsides.

CNN's go-to medical expert was at LAX Tuesday, where we talked to him about AI. Our photog actually got his first question by asking ChatGPT what to ask the good doctor.

Turns out, the machine was on point ... What does Sanjay think will be the most significant impact AI has in his field?

DSG breaks it down for us ... he believes AI is going to make things much easier for everyone -- practitioners and patients. He explains currently, we have a bit of a one-size-fits-all approach to medicine ... but he thinks AI will change that.


It's pretty fascinating ... Gupta thinks these programs are going to make diagnoses and treatments much more personalized, adding that's ultimately a great thing, 'cause it'll help more people get the best care.

The potential flip side ... algorithms being used to exploit or harm folks, which Dr. Gupta believes could happen if humans allow it. In other words, bad actors could make AI go south ... but he doesn't suspect it'll be the machine's fault -- it'll be our own.


Big picture, though ... he seems to be on board, even if it means fewer jobs for surgeons. Things will be more efficient all around, and in his eyes ... that's a blessing.

Michelle Yeoh Takes 'Prime' Swipe at Don Lemon After Best Actress Oscar Win


Michelle Yeoh made history last night during the Oscars, but her big win isn't the only thing that has folks talking ... it's also her direct message to Don Lemon.

The 60-year-old became the first Asian-identifying woman to take home the award for "Best Actress" for her role in "Everything Everywhere All at Once” ... and during her acceptance speech Sunday night, she seemingly took aim at the CNN anchor.

Michelle said “Dreams do come true. And ladies, don’t let anybody tell you you are ever past your prime!!!” Her speech drew cheers in the Dolby Theater, and folks immediately ate it up on social media.



Of course, Michelle's words sounded like a response to Don's comment last month -- he said 51-year-old republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley isn't in her prime ... after she suggested all elected officials over 75 undergo competency testing.

At the time, Don doubled down on his stance adding ... " a woman is considered to be in her prime in her 20s and 30s and maybe 40s" and telling his co-hosts Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins to look it up.

He later apologized and, after a few days off, CNN execs told Lemon he's on thin ice for his comments.

BTW, Michelle also became the second woman of color to win the category, after Halle Berry won in 2002.

You could say Michelle came out on top in everything, everywhere all at once ... and made a strong point in the process.

Chris Rock He Deserved the Will Slap ... Says Senior Root Writer


Chris Rock deserved to be slapped by Will Smith at the Oscars last year, and he may even be due for another round -- so suggests one writer who focuses on Black issues.

The Root's Candace McDuffie -- a senior editorial staffer for the G/O Media-owned online publication -- came on CNN to discuss the aftermath of Chris' Netflix special ... where he eviscerated Will and Jada Pinkett Smith for the hit seen around the world in 2022.

According to her, Chris was simply being held accountable by Will at the time for attacking a Black woman -- which McDuffie says is part of a larger pattern in this country, and which she says Chris has been guilty of in his comedy even before targeting Jada's alopecia.

As for how she feels about Chris' response nearly a full 365 days later ... well, the way she's talking here -- it almost sounds like she's just as angry with Chris yet again, saying he called Jada out of her name (he didn't once say her name, but did call her a "bitch" and refer to her as a "predator" in the special). In McDuffie's eyes, CR hasn't learned his lesson.


Don Lemon ever-so-gently pushed back on McDuffie, asking how she would respond to people who might say she's advocating for violence with this take ... and that Chris should, perhaps, be afforded a pass since he was going after Jada/Will in a stand-up comedy environment.

Her final thought is this ... as much pain as Will was in during the Oscars slap -- which Chris also addressed -- McDuffie feels like Chris was hurting just as much during his own special. She says there was more rage and resentment than there was humor ... from her POV.

Of course, this view isn't exclusive to McDuffie. There are many online who feel like Chris had the slap coming -- and even more who aren't happy that he continued to tear Will/Jada down for the sake of retribution and a laugh. On the flip side, just as many loved it.🤷🏽‍♂️

And a lot of others think Chris was right on the money.

Wild Airplane Video Man Attacks Flight Attendant with Spoon ... Tried to Open Exit Hatch!!!

Courtesy of Lisa Olsen

Intense new video shows a man threatening to kill people and trying to stab a flight attendant after he nearly opened the emergency exit door aboard a United Airlines flight.

Check out the footage, shot by a passenger ... the Dept. of Justice says the guy shouting at everyone is Francisco Severo Torres, who stood up from his seat and went absolutely apes***t during the Sunday flight from L.A. to Boston.

According to DOJ docs, Torres kicked off the incident when he forced the exit door handle into an unlocked position. A flight attendant allegedly noticed the handle had been tampered with and remembered Torres was lurking around the door.

The attendant went to question Torres and that's when all hell broke loose in the cabin -- he screamed, "So where's Homeland Security with a gun? Because I am waiting for them to point the gun at me so I can show everybody that I will die when I take every bullet in that clip, and I will kill every man on this plane."


Torres' terrifying rant continued, "Where are they diverting us? Because wherever they do, there's going to be a bloodbath everywhere. You can run away if you want. I won't kill you."

He also said, "I'm Balthazar. Or put up your hands, because I'm Balthazar ... since I'm taking over this plane." In the Bible, Balthazar is one of the 3 wise men who went to visit baby Jesus, but who knows if that was his reference.

DOJ docs say Torres brandished a broken metal spoon, confronted 2 flight attendants near the emergency exit, repeatedly stabbing one of them in the neck. The attendant's condition was not disclosed.

Thanks to several passengers, Torres was eventually restrained and taken into custody. The feds have charged him with interference and attempted interference with flight crew members and attendants using a dangerous weapon, which carries a potential life sentence.

Elementary School Racism Black Students Targeted, 'You're My Favorite Monkey' ... To Celebrate Black History Month

The parents of one of the Black elementary school students targeted with heinous racist drawings are blaming it on the parents of the offending classmates, making a fairly compelling case ... the racism comes from somewhere.

The crayon drawings are shocking ... one read, "You're my favorite monkey,' and another reads, "To my favorite cotton picker." Another student was told she would get a drawing with the image of a black person hanging from a tree, with the caption, "You're my favorite slave."


The drawings were supposedly passed out by students during Black History Month at Pepper Tree Elementary School in the Southern California town of Upland.

Parents of the children targeted are outraged, but not necessarily at the kids. They point to the parents, because what child knows these words and phrases?

The Upland School District called the incident "racially insensitive" ... a remarkable understatement.


The District says it will implement disciplinary action ... but the question is, who are they taking action against?

Don Lemon Wants to Be with CNN Long-Term ... Strategized Return Apology with Network

Not only is Don Lemon thankful to be back on the air at CNN, he wants to remain there for the foreseeable future, and worked hand-in-hand with the network on his return apology ... TMZ has learned.

Sources with direct knowledge tell TMZ, Don was in contact with CNN honchos throughout his entire time off, with a common goal, get back to work and apologize for his wrongdoing.

In fact, we're told it was agreed upon by both Don and the network that he would tweet out an apology before getting back on-air Wednesday. Our sources say Don never refused to apologize on-air ... everyone, including the network, thought it would be best they get back to reporting the news and move on from Don's mishap.


Additional sources say there was never an impression, internally, Don would be fired -- despite many outside CNN calling for that. We're told both he and the network are looking forward to continuing a long-term working relationship. We're told Don really enjoys working on 'This Morning' and is fully committed.

Our network sources say Don feels awful he said something dumb and made the mistake, but he's now acknowledged it and apologized publicly and internally.


As we reported, Don was dragged for his sexist comment about Nikki Haley last week, and jumped on a CNN staff call the day after to address the issue -- but now all seems to be water under the bridge ... at least for Don's bosses.

Don Lemon Final Warning by CNN ... One More Screw Up and He's Out

Don Lemon is on thin ice at CNN -- although he's being welcomed back for now, TMZ has learned he's a strike away from getting the boot permanently, and he knows it.

Sources with direct knowledge about Don's situation tell us ... when the veteran anchor spoke with upper management this week to discuss his sexist comments and the path forward, he was told this was his final warning on such antics.


We're told it was communicated to Don in no uncertain terms ... the next time he insults his cohosts or creates a toxic environment (on or off-air) will be his last with the network.

Of course, we know Don agreed to these terms in addition to signing off on participating in formal training of some sort. The guy's set to return to his job Wednesday, so he's up to speed on all this.

It's interesting Don was given this ultimatum, especially since we've heard from people in his world that he's not happy at CNN -- not at all -- so the uneasiness is mutual.

As for why Don was given such a short leash -- well, the fact is ... he's pretty polarizing. DL's racked up negative headlines (for one reason or another) in recent years, and not just from criticism from people on the right.


There's another factor here too that must be on the minds of Chris Licht and co. ... ratings. Not only were Don's numbers for his former primetime slot not strong enough to warrant him sticking around there ... ratings on his new gig have tanked.

Plus, we're hearing staffers at CNN are still on edge over Thursday's incident ... with one source saying the anger is real and hasn't died down. It's truly become a distraction.

Eggshell city at the Cable News Network, it seems. 😬

Don Lemon Returns to CNN Gig ... No On-Air Mea Culpa For Sexist Remarks


Don Lemon returned to his CNN morning gig Wednesday and, if you tuned in to see some fireworks on set or an apology from the anchor, you were very disappointed.

Instead, Lemon tweeted an apology about 30 minutes before appearing on CNN This Morning, nearly a week after he made sexist on-air remarks.

Lemon tweeted, "I appreciate the opportunity to be back on @CNNThisMorning today. To my network, my colleagues and our incredible audience — I’m sorry. “I’ve heard you, I’m learning from you, and I’m committed to doing better. See you soon."

Then Lemon opened the show with a rather dull segment alongside cohost Poppy Harlow in the studio while Kaitlan Collins was reporting from Warsaw, Poland, where she's covering President Biden.

Don commented on Biden's speech about Kyiv standing strong one year after Ukraine was invaded by Russia. He turned to Harlow and said, "Very powerful speech from the President."

Harlow responded, "Very powerful and juxtaposed to what we heard from Putin in the morning," referring to the Russian President's speech in opposition to Biden's.

Harlow then turned to Lemon and cheerfully added, "What a day. Good morning everyone, Don and I are here in New York. And Kaitlin is live again in Warsaw Poland."


There was no mention of Don's sexist on-air remarks from last week -- nor was there an on-air apology from Lemon. It seemed like they were playing the role of a happy family on set or, at least, that's how the hosts were trying to portray it.

But, behind the scenes, there's much tension. As we reported ... Don is one strike away from being canned by the network. Our sources say if he screws up again, he's out!

We're told senior CNN executives gave the final warning to Don when they spoke to him this week. Don might not be so sad if he leaves. We're told he's not happy at CNN anyway.

And last week's debacle only ratcheted up the tensions. As you know, Lemon made sexist comments on air about 2024 Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley calling her past her prime at 51.

His cohosts, Harlow and Collins, were shocked and offended as were most of the CNN staff. Don tried to apologize, but his coworkers gave him the cold shoulder.

Don Lemon Back at CNN Wednesday ... With One Condition

Don Lemon will return to his anchor's chair at CNN after his sexist on-air remarks ... but there's a string attached, and our sources say this may not be the end of it.

Lemon sat down with the network's chief executive, Chris Licht, and the two had a "frank and meaningful conversation," according to an internal email Licht sent to CNN staffers on Monday. During their chat, Lemon agreed to participate in formal training, but Licht didn't specify what type.

Licht continued, "It is important to me that CNN balances accountability with a fostering culture in which people can own, learn and grow from their mistakes. To that end, Don will return to 'CNN This Morning' on Wednesday."

Sources with direct knowledge tell TMZ ... Don has not been happy for awhile at CNN, and that's been clear to management and others.  As one source put it, "He's not a happy camper, so who knows how long he stays?"


As you know, Lemon put his foot in his mouth last Thursday when he made sexist comments on air about 2024 Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley, calling her past her prime at 51. Don was reacting to Haley's earlier remarks that politicians who are over 75 should get mental competency tests.

Lemon said, "Nikki Haley isn't in her prime. Sorry. A woman is considered to be in her prime in her 20s and 30s, and maybe 40s." "That's not according to me" "Look it up. if you Google 'when is a woman in her prime' it'll say 20s, 30s, and 40s."

His female cohosts, Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins, looked stunned and offended. Harlow asked Lemon to clarify if he meant prime for childbearing.  Don nervously responded, "Don't shoot the messenger. I'm just saying what the facts are. Google it."


Lemon didn't stop there, stating, "Nikki Haley should be careful about saying that politicians are not in their prime ... and they need to be in their prime when they serve because she wouldn't be in her prime according to... Google or whatever it is."

Things quickly went downhill for Lemon. Don made several apologies -- including one where he called into a morning staff meeting -- but they weren't well received.

Stay tuned for Wednesday.

Don Lemon Steps Down As Host For NYC Event ... Amid Misogyny Backlash

Don Lemon seems to be trying to push himself out of the limelight amid all the anger pointed his way ... because TMZ has learned he's backed out of an upcoming event he was set to moderate.

Don was scheduled to host an event in NYC Tuesday, all about race and real estate in honor of Black History Month.

TMZ has learned Don stepped away from the gig ... making the decision not long after facing serious backlash for last week's misogynistic comments about Nikki Haley.

We're told Don was worried about his current news coverage overtaking the event, and our sources tell us event coordinators at Douglas Elliman agreed ... so he bowed out.

We've learned he's been replaced by real estate broker John Gomes, who works for Elliman -- the event will go on as scheduled.


As you know, Don was dragged after categorizing a woman's "prime" based on her age in regards to Nikki -- not only being met with anger online, but echoed by cohost Poppy Harlow.


He's since apologized for the comment, but still was absent on Monday morning's "CNN This Morning" ... and him being MIA was only addressed in a blink-and-you-miss-it kind of way.

Don Lemon 'Day Off' Gets Split Second Mention On Heels of Sexist Remark


Don Lemon's absence from the "CNN This Morning" desk nearly got lost in the sauce at the top of the show Monday ... which could be additional writing on the wall for his time at the network.

Poppy Harlow -- who may or may not be in her "prime," according to Don -- opened the show with Sara Sidner sitting next to her and ran down the big breaking story about President Biden's surprise visit to Ukraine.

Sandwiched between that news and announcing her other cohost, Katilin Collins, being in Poland ... Poppy said, "Don has the day off."


It was literally one second and if you weren't looking for it, you'd surely miss it. Obviously, the honchos at CNN didn't want to make a big deal about the late decision for Lemon to sit out Monday's broadcast ... on the heels of his misogynist comment last Thursday about Nikki Haley.

Now, Don also had Friday off -- that was scheduled prior to the Haley remark -- and he spent it lounging on a Miami beach ... seemingly not having a care in the world.


But, as we reported, his Monday absence was not pre-scheduled, and staffers found out in a memo circulated this weekend about the 'This Morning' lineup switch.

It's unclear if Don's skipping today was his decision or his bosses'. No one's spilling that tea just yet ... as the fallout continues from Lemon saying Haley was "not in her prime" at the age of 51 -- because, as he put it, Google says a woman's prime is in her 20s, 30s, "and maybe 40s."

Lemon apologized, first on Twitter, and then on a Friday morning phone call to CNN's editorial staff ... but his mea culpa hasn't been warmly received by some of his coworkers. There are reports CNN execs are considering making a switch, but we have not confirmed that.

Don Lemon Will Miss Monday's CNN Morning Show ... After Sexist Comment

Don Lemon will not be on the air to start the new week -- and his future at CNN seems a little uncertain too in the wake of his sexist comment ... this according to new reports.

Per the Daily Beast -- which cited insiders with knowledge of the situation -- Lemon will miss Monday's show for 'CNN This Morning' ... and will simply enjoy the holiday, President's Day. It's being reported that his upcoming absence was not planned prior to Thursday.

Rather than Don there, the two anchors that'll be holding it down are Poppy Harlow and Sara Sidner ... with Kaitlin Collins, another regular co-host, being stationed in Poland for coverage. Monday's on-air lineup was sent out to CNN staffers this weekend, so says DB.

That's not all ... according to the outlet, DL's position at CNN is apparently up in the air at this point -- with one of the cited insiders saying his time there is being discussed at the highest levels, while also adding ... "He is a constant distraction."


Another report by FOX News cites yet another CNN source, who says Lemon should return by Tuesday, but not even that is guaranteed ... because, apparently, it'll depend on "where his head is at." It's also unclear if this a straight up suspension, or if it's on Don's terms.

In any case, it sounds like there might be changes in the near future. We'd already reported that Don hopped on a staff call Friday to apologize, but it did not go over too well on the receiving end ... with sources telling us many took it has him patting himself on the back.

Fox News

CNN's new honcho, Chris Licht, is also said to have been pissed about the Nikki Haley quip, reportedly saying ... "His remarks were upsetting, unacceptable, and unfair to his co-hosts, and ultimately a huge distraction to the great work of this organization."

Remember, Licht was the one to yank Don off of his coveted primetime slot in the first place ... and now that he's unhappy with DL yet again, it doesn't seem to bode well.

Don Lemon Jumps on CNN Staff Call ... Hey, Some of My Best Friends are Women

Don Lemon jumped on a CNN staff call Friday morning to apologize for his sexist on-air comment Thursday that women are not in their prime after their 40s ... but it did not go over well.

Sources with direct knowledge tell TMZ ... Don jumped on for only 90 seconds to address what he said about Nikki Haley and, for that matter, all women.

He said he didn't mean what he said, adding he's going to continue to fight discrimination against women. He essentially said some of his best friends are women, citing his relationships with CNN talent Dana Bash and Erin Burnett, VP for Talent and Content Development for CNN Amy Entelis, and his mom and sister.


We're told some people on the call talked afterward and called Don "tone deaf," with one saying it looks like Don was giving himself kudos for owning his mistake.

The embattled anchor had the day off Friday ... this after enraging his cohost Poppy Harlow with his comment. Although, our sources say his day off had been scheduled beforehand.

Fox News

As you probably know, Haley said Wednesday she wanted a mandatory mental competency test for politicians over 75 ... something that would target both Biden and Trump. That's when Lemon fired back at Haley, saying, "Nikki Haley isn't in her prime. Sorry. A woman is considered to be in her prime in her 20s and 30s, and maybe 40s."

Don Lemon Says Nikki Haley's Not in 'Her Prime' ... No Woman in Her 50s Is!!!


10:38 AM PT -- Don Lemon's clearly feeling the heat, he just tweeted, "The reference I made to a woman’s “prime” this morning was inartful and irrelevant, as colleagues and loved ones have pointed out, and I regret it. A woman’s age doesn't define her either personally or professionally. I have countless women in my life who prove that every day."

CNN's Don Lemon is trending for saying women, like presidential candidate Nikki Haley, are well beyond their "prime" years -- a comment that irked at least one of his cohosts, and many more people online.

The CNN crew was reacting to Haley's Wednesday speech where she called for "mandatory mental competency tests for politicians over the age of 75." It's a clear shot at President Biden, and even her GOP nomination rival Donald Trump ... and Lemon saw an opening to take a shot at Haley herself.

Poppy Harlow asked "elder statesman" Don for his opinion, and he suggested Haley was barking up the wrong tree because "Nikki Haley isn't in her prime. Sorry. A woman is considered to be in her prime in her 20s and 30s, and maybe 40s."

Poppy immediately called him out, but Don played the "don't shoot the messenger" card ... claiming Google told him those are the facts. He seemed to backpedal, saying he doesn't necessarily agree with that.

Fox News

Important to note, 51-year-old Haley didn't use the word "prime" when calling for the competency testing -- and whether or not you agree with her, there's a clear difference, generally speaking, between people in their 50s and 80s ... which was really her point.

Don's remark shot him to the top of Twitter's trending news, and also drew a quick response from Haley, who said, "Liberals can't stand the idea of having competency tests for older politicians to make sure they can do the job. BTW it's always the liberals who are the most sexist."

We're not saying it's a liberal vs. conservative thing, but it's definitely a "foot in mouth" thing ... at least where Don and Poppy -- who's 40, BTW -- are concerned.

Originally Published -- 10:12 AM PT

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