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Taraji P. Henson Seems To Think R. Kelly Is Being Treated Unfairly

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Photo by Kevork Djansezian / Stringer / Getty Images.

My favorite celebrity aunties are on the wrong side of the R. Kelly debate

Taraji P. Henson took to Instagram on Tuesday to share her thoughts on two of the entertainment industry's most vilified men: Harvey Weinstein and R. Kelly. She thought it was worth searching for #muteWeinstein and #muteHarveyWeinstein to make note of the lack of of posts compared to the various #muteRKelly hashtags. She let out a knowing "hmph" after her findings. By comparing social media responses to Harvey Weinstein and R. Kelly, both of whom have been accused of sexual misconduct and other sex crimes, Henson seemed to be insinuating that Kelly is unfairly receiving more backlash than his white counterparts. If this is indeed what Henson is saying, though, she is wrong on all fronts.

Let's start with the most obvious—if trivial—flaws in her logic. Kelly is a musician. Music is made to be listened to. The call to mute him is a direct reference to the action of no longer listening to his music. Weinstein is a television and film producer. You watch those. No one has started a viral campaign to mute him because his primary product is not purely sonic.

Furthermore, social media buzz is not the same thing as being held responsible and accountable for one's actions. So it's also worth noting that despite more online chatter appearing to be predominantly directed at Kelly, Weinstein, currently, is actually facing more material consequences. Like Kelly—who was at the center of the Lifetime docuseries, Surviving R. Kelly—Weinstein is the focus of a damning documentary; in his case, it's called The Reckoning: Hollywood's Worst Kept Secret. Weinstein was fired from his company after news of his alleged sexual abuse. He was suspended from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, and he "resigned" from the Director's Guild of America. He was arrested and charged with rape in New York and is currently awaiting trial after posting a million dollar bail.

Despite decades of damning evidence, multiple allegations, court settlements, investigations into Kelly have only just opened in the wake of Surviving R. Kelly. No charges have been filed against him and his label didn't decide to part ways with the singer until last week. You can still stream his music on all streaming platforms and amidst the controversy, interest in his music has been increasing. Sure, it does seem as though more people have bad things to say about Kelly and his alleged crimes but he is in no way being persecuted.

Henson's Instagram posts come just a few days after Erykah Badu—who, ironically, also appears in Henson's latest movie project, What Men Want—told a Chicago crowd that she was putting up a prayer "for R." Concert goers booed her and she then took to the internet to insist that she only wants "unconditional love" for everyone, including Kelly and his victims.

At 47 and 48, Badu and Henson's position on Kelly seems to suggest a generational difference in how we respond to black men accused of sexual assault. The idea that they deserve unconditional love and protection is not one that I've noticed many of my own peers subscribe to. To focus on racism that would lead a black men to face harsher consequences for sexual assault than a white man completely erases the experiences of survivors; not to mention the way it ignores how racism plays a part in which survivors get taken more seriously. This position encourages survivors to remain silent because black men are always deemed more important. And to spout love above accountability gives reprieve to the alleged perpetrator only. That this rhetoric is coming from the auntie generation, the group of black women that I hope to emulate is a painful reminder of how easily misogynoir is internalized.

Photo by Handout / Getty Images.

From selling probiotic supplements to picture frames and umbrellas

A Kardashian-level of success doesn't happen overnight, and it certainly doesn't happen without proper planning. Kim Kardashian West clearly knows this because, according to TMZ, she has already filed for trademark protection on the name of her two-week-old baby, Psalm West. From personal appearances and entertainment services to probiotic supplements and scrunchies, she is leaving no stone unturned in terms of possible business opportunities.

Apparently, all of the Kardashian parents file these kinds of trademark protections for their kids even if the businesses never come to fruition. It's done as a precautionary measure to keep others from profiting off of their name and to make sure that, should they ever want to start a business, they don't have to worry about someone else getting to it first. The sheer length of this list speaks to the huge earning potential of baby Psalm, who can't even control his own neck muscles yet, let alone go into business. Still, this brings a whole new meaning to "securing the bag."

Below, a list of all the things Kardashian West is seeking usage rights for.

Hair accessories

Barrettes

Bands

Bows

Clips

Ties

Ornaments

Pins

Scrunchies

Chopsticks

Twisters

Wrap

Hair extensions

Ornamental novelty pins

Entertainment services

Personal appearances

Skin care

Probiotic supplements

Toy figures

Doll accessories

Computer software

Clothing

Baby bottles

Furniture

Strollers

Beverageware

Swaddling

Blankets

Skin moisturizers

Lotions

Creams

Bubble bath

Fragrances

Body powders

Shower gels

Body oils

Skin serums

Nail polish

Nail polish remover

Nail care preparations

Puppets

Puzzles

Toy jewelry

Toy cameras

Toy food

Bath toys

Baby gyms

Playground balls

Electronic action toys

Baby bouncers

Baby changing tables

Baby walkers

Pillows

Mirrors

Cushions

Picture frames

Playpens

Baby carriers

Cosmetic bags

Toiletry cases

Duffle bags

Umbrellas

Clocks

Watches

Key chains

Calendars

Books

photo albums

Stationery

Stickers

Writing utensils

Collectible trading cards

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Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Well, actually it's crocodile, but she looks out of this world so...

Winnie Harlow walked the Cannes red carpet on Wednesday on her way to a screening of Oh Mercy!, wearing a showstopping gown.

The sheer black dress featured green embroidery on the front and back, which Ralph and Russo confirmed was in the shape of a crocodile. She belted the dress with a black crocodile skin-like belt and finished the look off with some strappy heels. She didn't leave it at just that. For beauty, Harlow packed on full lids of sparkly purple eyeshadow. She kept her hair sleek and simple.

Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Though the brand says otherwise, as Game of Thrones fans, we'd like to think the embroidery is reminiscent of a dragon's skin. Not to mention, Harlow looks out-of-this-world beautiful in it.

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Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

That denim kimono!!

Marion Cotillard shut down the Cannes red carpet on Wednesday at a screening for Matthias Et Maxime. Instead of an extravagant gown that's expected of the event, Cotillard wore a matching black crop top and shorts. Despite wearing an outfit I typically don to a hot yoga class, she looks incredible. She completed the look with an oversized denim kimono, a statement necklace, and heeled booties.

Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

At first, I was drawn in by the crop top and hotpants duo, but, after looking closer at the kimono, it's clear that it's the real scene-stealer. The floor-length Balmain piece was decorated with artful rips and dragon motifs. I would like to live in it.

Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Let's all bow down to the Khaleesi of Cannes.

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Photo by Frazer Harrison / Getty Images.

"It doesn't make you weak to ask for help"

Singer Billie Eilish is continuing to open up about mental health, this time in a new PSA video in partnership with the Ad Council and Seize the Awkward.

In the video, Eilish insists that "it doesn't make you weak to ask for help." She doubles down on the importance of asking for help, and stresses the importance of friends and family being there when their close ones reach out and checking in on them as well. "You should be able to ask anyone for help, everyone has to help someone if they need it." According to Eilish, there have been times when someone reached out to her at the exact moment she needed it, and it helped.

It was particularly refreshing to see Eilish acknowledge that there are things she still doesn't know and has to learn about her mental health. At the very beginning of the video, the interviewer asks her to reflect on her mental health journey, and all Eilish can do is let out chortle. "I think when people hear, 'Remember to take care of your mental health,' they think that everyone else is, and that is not at all accurate," she admitted. "You know, for me I'm trying to learn still to make sure that I stay okay."

Check out the PSA below.

Billie Eilish On Mental Health & Friendship | Ad Council www.youtube.com

Photograph via @kimkardashian.

"#NotOnMyMoodBoard"

Kim Kardashian has definitely been accused of borrowing a design now and then. But when Instagram influencer and Kardashian look-alike Kamilla Osman claimed the entrepreneur copied her birthday look for a Met Gala after-party, Kardashian was not going to let it fly—and shared plenty of photo evidence to shut down the claim.

Fashion industry watchdog Diet Prada first noticed Osman's claims on Instagram and shared side-by-side images of Kardashian's Cher-inspired outfit designed by Mugler and Osman's dress. "Never get confused with who 'inspires' who. They won't give you credit but they will copy," Osman wrote on her IG story. "I designed this dress for my birthday last year. Nobody had a dress like this was an original design."

Kardashian responded by posting the true inspiration behind her look: images of Cher, in similarly sparkly, plunging-neckline dresses and wigs, and of model Yasmeen Ghauri walking a Mugler show in the '90s. In fact, the only similarity between Osman's and Kardashian's looks is the bodycon mini-dress style, which the two are not the first to wear. Among the images, Kardashian included a blank slide with the hashtag "NotOnMyMoodBoard," making it clear that this was in response to Osman's claims.

Screenshot via @KimKardashian Instagram Stories

Screenshot via @KimKardashian Instagram Stories

Though I am with Kim on this one, Kardashian does have a history of co-opting other people's work. From being sued over her Kimoji app, to claims she copied makeup palettes and perfume bottle designs, to being accused of copying Naomi Campbell's entire style, it's far from the first (and probably, far from the last) time Kardashian's name will be mentioned like this.

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