Music

Fans Defend Megan Thee Stallion From Backlash For Turning Down ‘The Breakfast Club’

Late last year, hip-hop fans debated the merits of artists giving Black publications access after Nicki Minaj complained that some publications — ones perceived as geared toward a white audience — give more favorable coverage to artists than others. Kanye West furthered the discussion this year when he tried to blame “white media” for “taking down” beloved Black entertainers accused of wrongdoing. Now, Megan Thee Stallion has been drawn into the discussion after refusing to appear on the popular radio show The Breakfast Club just before granting a longform profile interview to GQ.

Meg found herself at the center of the debate about access when Breakfast Club host Charlamagne The God revealed after the GQ article’s publication that she’d rejected the radio show’s interview request. The reason: The Club refused to honor her request not to ask questions about Tory Lanez allegedly shooting Megan in July. According to Charlamagne, she granted access to “white” publications, such as GQ and the New York Times, which made her refusal to answer the same questions suspect in his eyes.

“She told all that to GQ?” he wondered. “Meg was supposed to be here this week but she um…they had a long laundry list of things not to talk to her about and it was all Tory Lanez and that situation-related.” Co-host DJ Envy chimed in to agree, “I think it’s crazy because when she does White publications, she’s able to talk and talk about everything that she wants to talk about but when she goes to the Black press and Black publications, there’s a list that the label sends out that [says], ‘Don’t ask her about this, don’t talk about this, don’t talk about that.’ But we the ones that support her and hold her down and play her music and talk about all the good things that she does and go through all that stuff.”

However, while it’s normal for publicists to request that outlets avoid certain topics in interviews, outlets can choose whether to accept those conditions or not and many times, believe the interview is worth the risk. Besides, nothing is stopping artists from talking about those topics unprompted once the interview begins. Fans on Twitter also pointed out that Charlamagne, in particular, has a terrible “bedside manner” with interview subjects, often broaching emotionally fraught subjects with insensitive questions that border on bullying — especially for female subjects. Even when the Breakfast Club isn’t forcefully pursuing a controversial quote, they tend to piss off a lot of artists anyway, prompting accusations that they only promote gossip fodder, not journalism.

It’s also worth noting that in many of those cases, Black women were centered in the storytelling; the GQ interview was conducted by Allison Davis, a Black writer, while the New York Times op-ed was written by Megan herself. While artists are never guaranteed a sympathetic forum, Megan already faced severe backlash from the peanut gallery online — mainly from men who disbelieved her account of events and made cruel jokes about her body instead. It’s understandable why she’d want to avoid more of the same.

Watch the Breakfast Club discussion above.

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