The Biggest Losers of 2017

Photo illustration by Sam Woolley/GMG; photos via Getty Images, iStock, SheaMoisture and Dove

As the year comes to a close, The Root takes a look back at those who took an L. We aren’t talking the kind of loss you feel sympathy for—or the kind of losses you point a finger and laugh at or shake your head in shame and secondhand embarrassment. Let’s review everyone—and everything—that caught an extreme loss in 2017.


Oh, SheaMoisture, we were rooting for you! The soft-scented cure for all things ashy popped on the scene, and black girls immediately fell in love with its line of hair-care products that let us love on our natural hair at an affordable price. It was easily accessible. It had different product lines containing different essential oils. Black girls talked it up and helped it grow into an empire.


And how did it repay black girls?

By making a commercial about how hard it is to be accepted with your natural hair and centering white women in that narrative.

As if.

SheaMoisture got canceled faster than a show starring Taye Diggs.

You took a huge L, SheaMoisture. I hope those white women were worth it.



It’s no wonder Dove and SheaMoisture are now under the same corporate umbrella. Dove caught the ire of black women and social media in general a few months ago when it dropped an ad on its Facebook page that featured a darker-skinned black woman turning into a white woman—literally.


The black woman was wearing a T-shirt that matched her skin color. She lifts the shirt over her head to reveal a white woman in a cream-colored shirt.

The ad hit a sore spot for black people. For years, soap companies advertised their products as being able to wash the black off of people. No one could understand what Dove’s motives were for creating such an ad.


The company tried to explain, but the damage had already been done.

Shame on you, Dove. Next time, consult actual people of color before trying to make an ad that is supposed to appeal to them.


Nicki Minaj

Remember when we heard Nicki on Roman’s Revenge and Kanye’s Monster and thought she was going to be everything we wanted to represent the ladies in hip-hop? Those sure were the days.


Too bad she came into 2017 and started the year off immediately taking an L when Remy Ma slaughtered her with ShETHER. That was seemingly the harbinger of doom for Nicki, who continued on the path of WTF? with a detour onto that questionable Paper magazine cover and culminating in her ultimately being bested at her own game by the one and only Cardi B.

Rumor has it that when both women appeared on the Migos hit Motorsport, Nicki changed her verse after she heard Cardi’s. Oops.


Maybe 2018 will be a better year for the rap Barbie, but we won’t hold our breath.



Omarosa Manigault Newman really did black people many injustices this year. How do you allow yourself to be trotted out as the token darkie in the Donald Trump White House? How do you do absolutely nothing to foster better relationships between that man in the Oval Office and black people in America—especially when your job description says that is what you are supposed to do?


But instead of doing that, Omarosa turned the White House into a photoshoot location for her wedding, showed her ass at the NABJ convention, hosted her wedding at a Trump hotel, got on national TV and proclaimed that Trump is not a racist, he’s just racial—and, after all that ass-kissing and tap dancing, still got fired from her job as token White House darkie. For shame, Omarosa. For shame. Please take this L and disappear into obscurity. We don’t need to hear from you ever again.


Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Russell Simmons, Tavis Smiley, Louis C.K., Adam Venit and Their Merry Gang of Fellows Accused of Sexual Misconduct 

It’s kind of gross if you are the type of man who will just whip out your dick without notice and start masturbating in front of unsuspecting and nonconsenting women. You have to be pretty brazen and full of white-boy privilege to grab Terry Crews by the genitals, not knowing if he is going to beat the living shit out of you or not. You have to be a really shitty person to use your position of power to either convince or coerce someone into having a sexual relationship with you. You deserve to be in jail if you forced yourself on someone.


These men have all been accused of various forms of sexual misconduct, sexual harassment and sexual assault. Some, like Kevin Spacey and Adam Venit, took their L and disappeared into obscurity—likely hoping the whole thing would blow over.

Others, like Russell Simmons, turned completely gross about it, created a hashtag meant to derail a hashtag movement for real victims and claimed that they were going to prove their accusers were liars—only to fall silent anyway because, guess what? You are probably guilty of what the victims said in the first place.


Shame on these guys, and fuck them, too. May you never have a position that puts you in power over anyone else again.


Jeff Sessions

You are a racist. You are a racist. You are a racist. You are using your office to further your racist agenda. You make up things to further that agenda. Because you are a lying racist, you enable other lying racists to get away with being lying, murdering racists. You are transphobic. Your government fundraiser disguised as criminal-justice policy disproportionately targets poor people and people of color. You are the weakest link, and even your president turned his back on you when it seemed that you weren’t going to go along with his program.


You deserved every minute of Karen Bass eating your weak ass up and making you look like the bumbling, lying, racist idiot you are because you are an asshole. Fuck off.



Y’all suck. Actually, y’all have always sucked, but in this particular administration, if you sucked any harder—you would be a damn blow job.


It’s funny how some of you want to label yourselves as the moral majority. There isn’t one good moral among the lot of you. If there were, you would have taken a stand against the dotard in chief and saved the American people from this monstrosity of a presidency.

But nope. You continue to let it ride. You pretend to be in shock and awe over the things he says and does, but you walk right along with him, furthering his racist and classist agenda, all the while pretending that you have the best interests of the American people at heart. You don’t.


You are a bunch of self-serving old-ass white people who need to get the fuck on.

We’re tired of your shit.


The American People

The American people took the biggest L of all this year. We have the worst president. Congress doesn’t care about us. Our poor people continue to be on the losing end of the battle, and that likely won’t improve anytime soon.


We look like a nation full of idiots to the rest of the world because we have been beaten into submission and made to fear doing the one thing that could change all of this in a short period of time—revolt.

America has always held itself as being better than everyone else, but really, we aren’t.


We are complacent, capitalistic and complicit in our own demise.

We are the biggest losers, and we earned that shit fair and square.

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About the author

Monique Judge

News Editor for The Root. I said what I said. Period.