Videos have surfaced online that appear to depict Doja Cat participating in “racist chat rooms” along with a song from 2015 that used a racist term that originated on 4chan.
The singer posted an apology on Instagram addressing both the chatroom and song, saying that she had never been involved in racist conversations and that the song was an attempt to flip the meaning of the racist term.
In August, Nas referenced the controversy in one of his songs.
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Pop icon Doja Cat is more online than many celebrities. She first broke into the public consciousness with a viral single about being a cow (aptly titled “Mooo!”) and is now known for her music inspiring dance challenges on TikTok.
But she’s also no stranger to internet drama. Notably, people online attempted to cancel her in 2018 for using a homophobic slur, and she defended her use of before apologizing.
Now, #dojaisoverparty has trended on Twitter once again, after videos surfaced that appeared to show the singer participating in a video chat that included alleged members of the alt-right. Meanwhile, an old song from the singer that used racist language targeted at victims of police brutality resurfaced, leading to many to accuse Doja Cat of being racist.
Doja Cat later addressed the controversy in an Instagram post on May 24, but the timeline of the cancellation, un-cancellation, and apology has left some confused. Here’s a rundown of the Doja Cat controversy.
A video surfaced that appeared to show Doja Cat participating in alleged ‘racist chat rooms’
On May 22, videos alleging that Doja Cat participated in public chat rooms began to circulate on social media, particularly Twitter. People online claimed that Doja Cat was “talking to racists and laughing to their racist jokes” on video chatting platform Tinychat. One May 22 tweet claimed to show “footage of [Doja Cat] on a chat room with alt-right white supremacists only 6 days ago.”
In addition to the Twitter discourse, discussion erupted on message board Lipstick Alley.
Doja Cat has previously mentioned being a part of online chatrooms: In a December 2019 interview with Paper Magazine, she said that she was obsessed with a chatroom that she still frequented at the time. Refusing to name the chatroom — and telling Paper that “people are f—– crazy” and will attempt to find it — the artist said that she used to skip school to hang out in the chatroom.
“People would pick on me and use horrible, horrible language, just the worst, and I just didn’t understand why people were so crazy on there,” the singer told Paper at the time, but she said she remained in the chatroom and joined in with her own “offensive jokes,” despite the “horrible language.”
As the racism accusations grew online, an old Doja Cat song that used racist language resurfaced as well
Along with the video chat allegations, a Doja Cat song from 2015 titled “Dindu Nuffin” reemerged online as well.
The Source reported that the song’s name “seems to be a stylized pronunciation of ‘didn’t do nothing,'” that is meant to mock black people who died as a result of police brutality. Know Your Meme reported that the phrase emerged from /pol/, 4chan’s “Politically Incorrect” politics forum.
Doja Cat’s song, which was uploaded to SoundCloud in November 2015 before it was later deleted, according to Genius, generated backlash online, with Twitter users accusing her of releasing the song as a response to the 2015 death of Sandra Bland, a black woman who died in police custody after she was pulled over for failing to use her turn signal.
Many pointed out on Twitter that the phrase “dindu nuffin” is most prevalent on racist message boards and online spaces as opposed to in mainstream rhetoric. “‘Dindu nuffin’ is like 47th circle deep web levels of racism,” one Twitter user wrote.
After #DojaisOverParty trended on May 23, #WeAreSorryDoja trended on May 24
After the alleged Tinychat videos began to circulate, counter-threads began to emerge on Twitter claiming that the chatroom Doja Cat had visited was not racist. Others posted screenshots that they said depicted conversations with people who had been in the Tinychat room and said that Doja Cat had not said anything racist.
One Twitter user who mentioned the name of the chatroom that Doja Cat was said to be present in (Tea Time) in a tweet in 2015 wrote a brief thread on the controversy, saying, “Not once have I ever heard Doja say anything racist, even before she blew up. I’ve heard her make troll ass comments, which NONE have been racist.”
Conflicting hashtags seem to have arisen out of the variety of conflicting information, but many were dissatisfied with #WeAreSorryDoja trending just a day after people on Twitter had attempted to cancel the singer. Many Twitter users pointed out that Doja Cat herself had not spoken out on the issue, while others took issue with the generalization that the “we” in the hashtag made.
Doja Cat eventually addressed the controversy in an Instagram post on May 24
On May 24, Doja Cat posted an explanation on her Instagram account.
“I’ve used public chat rooms to socialize since I was a child. I shouldn’t have been on some of those chat room sites, but I personally have never been involved in any racist conversations. I’m sorry to everyone that I offended,” the singer wrote.
“I’m a black woman. Half of my family is black from South Africa and I’m very proud of where I come from,” she continued.
Regarding “Dindu Nuffin,” Doja Cat stated that the song was “in no way tied to anything outside of my own personal experience,” stating that she was attempting to “flip its meaning.” The singer added that despite the apparent misunderstanding of her song, she recognized that it was a “bad decision to use the term.”
Nas later named Doja Cat in his single “Ultra Black,” seemingly in reference to May 2020 controversy
“Doja Cat” trended on Twitter once again on August 14 after rapper Nas named the singer in his most recent single. In the song, Nas said that Doja Cat was “the opposite” of “unapologetically Black.”
As Insider’s Kat Tenbarge reported, responses to the lyric were a mixed bag. While some defended Nas’ right to criticize Doja Cat, others criticized Nas by bringing up accusations of physical and mental abuse made by Kelis, Nas’ ex-wife, and accusations of physical abuse made by Carmen Bryan, Nas’ ex-girlfriend and the mother of his daughter Destiny. Nas denied Kelis’ abuse accusations in 2018, alleging that Kelis was “verbally abusive” to both him and his daughter and had physically abused him as recently as 2018.
Nas and Doja Cat have not yet addressed the discourse on Twitter, and neither immediately responded to Insider’s response for comment.
Update: This article has been updated with information regarding Nas naming Doja Cat in his 2020 single “Ultra Black.”
Read the original article on Insider