Through the power of social media, it seems like more and more dirt can get dug up on celebrities, especially when it comes to a dark history of sexual assault. No matter how loved they are and praised as artists, some secrets are inexcusable.
Today, it’s getting harder for celebrities to keep the skeletons in their closet. We’ve seen the decline of many careers over the last few years and they were mostly due to accusations of sexual assault.
The most recent news of a celebrity abuser is the popular female rapper Cardi B. This week, an old Instagram live video resurfaced of Cardi B where she admitted to her followers about luring men with sex back to a hotel where she’d drug and rob them.
Right after the resurfacing of the video, the rapper jumped to Instagram to address it and give an explanation. In her apology, she explains how she didn’t have a choice but to commit herself to this lifestyle.
“Whether or not they were poor choices at the time, I did what I had to do to survive,” the rapper claimed.
Fans quickly came to her aid in the comment section offering support, prayers and unconditional love but that wasn’t the popular reaction. Shortly after, #SurvivingCardiB began trending on Twitter. This was a rip-off of the recent Lifetime Show “Surviving R. Kelly.”
People on Twitter immediately started expressing their disappointment in the star and the next move.
An ex-fan of the rapper expressed her concerns: “Feminists hold [women] accountable. We ARE equal and should be treated as such. When we take that away we are part of the oppression.”
Some took a different approach to the situation, as many men took to social media to express their concern for the double standard between men and women when it comes to predation.
The similarities between Cardi B and Bill Cosby, who was sentenced to 3-10 years in prison after being found guilty of aggravated indecent assault, are leaving people wondering if Cardi B will get the same repercussions.
This scandal led to more than just conversations of feminism and double standards -- men claiming to be victims of Cardi B are now coming out and speaking up.
An alleged victim, Ak Akim, went to Facebook to tell his story of reportedly being drugged, raped and robbed by Cardi back in 2014.
“I can’t lie, it was certainly traumatizing and as a man, you never want to admit you were taken advantage of,” Akim said in his post, alongside photos of him and the rapper in a strip club. “No man wants to say #MeToo.”
Cardi B isn’t the first celebrity to have these accusations surround them. Bill Cosby, R. Kelly, Melanie Martinez, Kevin Spacey and others have been accused of the same behavior. As fans of any of them, it’s important to remember we can’t ignore the bad things that they have done.
No matter the toxic behavior, such as racism, homophobia, transphobia or a history of domestic/sexual abuse, we need to remember that behind the glamour, celebrities are people just like the rest of us. They don’t get a free pass because of their fame and fortune.
Holding them accountable, whether that is speaking out or simply boycotting their art, is how we stop this appropriation for celebrity misbehavior. These celebrities are role models who many people, especially younger generations, look up to and idolize. Ignoring that they have done inexcusable things normalizes it to these fans and takes away the severity of the situation.
Everyone makes mistakes and with social media, it’s harder for big celebrities to hide it. As fans, followers or simply social-media users, we need to make sure people like Cardi B who have a history of toxic, disturbing behavior get the same consequences as someone guilty of the same crimes who are not in the spotlight.