Since announcing his attraction to trans women, actor Malik Yoba’s life has become infinitely more complicated. He’s faced public backlash, internal strife within his family and accusations of inappropriate relationships with trans minors during his New York Undercover heyday.
Keenly aware of how allegations of that nature could derail his career, the 51-year-old denied any wrongdoing in a bizarre freestyle he posted to Instagram on Sept. 4. But according to News One, it might’ve been too little too late, as Phi Beta Sigma has reportedly cut ties with The Last O.G. star.
From News One:
According to a memo obtained by NewsOne, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., Yoba was removed from his position as spokesman for the Sigma Beta Club program, which is focused on providing mentorship to “pre-teen and teen-aged males” through social, cultural and educational enrichment. The “Empire” actor, who is an honorary member of the historic Black fraternity, was named the spokesperson earlier this year.
As for the memo itself:
“Those reports allege that Yoba had been previously involved in an inappropriate relationship 20 years ago, allegations that Brother Yoba denies,” the memo said. “This is a serious issue and the allegation is inconsistent with, and a distraction to, the focus of the Sigma Beta Club. To safeguard the reputation of the program and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc., the National Sigma Beta Club Foundation, in consultation with Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity’s leadership, has determined it to be in the best interest of all concerned that Brother Malik Yoba no longer serve as the National Spokesperson for the Sigma Beta Club program.”
The allegations surfaced on Sept. 1, when Mariah Lopez Ebony, a trans activist, accused Yoba of preying on her as a 13-year-old before eventually paying her for sex.
“For all who applaud and solute Malik Yoba for revealing he is so-called ‘Trans Attracted’, understand that either because of deeper issues he has or, because of ‘society’ pushing him and others to deep, dark places, his admission to being sexually attracted to Trans women, is bound to open a Pandora’s box for him,” Ebony posted on Facebook. “Not because the women are Trans, But because many of the Trans women he engaged in sexual exploration and exploitation with on 14th Street, Times Square and elsewhere, were minors. Including myself.”
In response, Yoba offered the following rebuttal at the conclusion of his now-deleted freestyle: “A lot of nonsense is floating around town the last few days. I’m like, ‘What am I going to say about all this?’ I’m not going to defend myself. Imma dig deep. Imma lean into my creativity. Imma lean into the purpose and the purpose is the service. It’s all it’s about. Love.”