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Black News and Black Views with a Whole Lotta Attitude

The GMA3 Hosts Affair, Downfall of Kanye West Top Our List of the Biggest Pop Culture Scandals of 2022 [UPDATED]

A recap of the messiest stories that kept us talking all year long.

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Image for article titled The GMA3 Hosts Affair, Downfall of Kanye West Top Our List of the Biggest Pop Culture Scandals of 2022 [UPDATED]
Photo: Leon Bennett, Rodin Eckenroth (Getty Images)

Updated 12/29/22 6:00 a.m. ET

This year has been so wild, we’ve got a few more scandals to dive into before we turn the page on 2022. With Tory Lanez being convicted of shooting Megan Thee Stallion and Elon Musk saying he wants to step down from Twitter, it feels like this year is going to be crazy right up until the clock strikes midnight on Dec. 31.

Tiffany Haddish

The Girls Trip star was the subject of a lawsuit alongside comedian Aries Spears, when a deeply inappropriate sketches featuring two child actors performing sexually suggestive acts resurfaced. The mother of the female victim filed a lawsuit accusing the two comics of child sexual abuse, sexual harassment, sexual battery. The two sketches were made for the Funny or Die website, with one of them titled “Through a Pedophile’s Eyes.” There is no world in which any of the adults involved should have thought this was ok.

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As the story broke and Haddish was criticized for putting these kids in such a dangerous situation, she commented on Instagram about the matter, writing, “I know people have a bunch of questions. I get it. I’m right there with you. Unfortunately, because there is an ongoing legal case, there’s very little I can say right now. But, clearly, while this sketch was intended to be comedic, it wasn’t funny at all—and I deeply regret having agreed to act in it. I really look forward to being able to share a lot more about this situation as soon as I can.” In September, the lawsuit was dropped, but that didn’t stop Haddish from becoming persona non grata in Hollywood. She confirmed to TMZ that she “lost everything” and all her jobs are gone.

Tory Lanez Convicted of Shooting Megan Thee Stallion

The December trial of Tory Lanez ended the year as one of 2022’s most talked about topics. The rapper was convicted on all charges for shooting Megan Thee Stallion back in 2020. But as women everywhere know, just because there’s proof that a man victimized you, it doesn’t mean the world will back you up. In the months leading up to the trial, Megan was inundated with online abuse as her story was repeatedly questioned and became an easy punching bag for certain hip-hop artists.

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In response to Tory’s conviction, his family has started a petition, while some of his fans are trying to paint him as a martyr. No, he’s just another small, pathetic man who assaulted a Black woman and doesn’t want to suffer the consequences of those actions, because he thinks he’s entitled to treat her some kind of way.

Elon Musk buys Twitter

You know how you sometimes make an impulsive purchase, but then can’t find a way to return the item. That’s the situation the richest man in the world, Elon Musk, found himself in after he bought Twitter for $44 billion in October. It very quickly became clear that the old rules and protections wouldn’t be honored as the so-called “free speech absolutist” took power. In fact, white supremacists and conspiracy theorists who had previously had their accounts suspended, celebrated because they thought Musk’s Twitter would be more accepting of their hate speech.

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The Tesla and SpaceX CEO then proceeded to layoff thousands of employees, and asked those that remained to work unreasonable overtime or also be cut. And of course, he has no respect for how Black Twitter has helped grow the platform. Everyday, more celebrities and public figures announce their exit from the social media site, leaving us to wonder if Twitter will survive through 2023, and what could take its place if it does die.

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From Will Smith’s Oscars slap to the affair that rocked Good Morning America, 2022 was full of crazy, unforgettable moments. I thought I’d save you some time and recap them all in one handy place. Plus, some of these happened so long ago that we needed to check back in on where things stand now.

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GMA3 Hosts Affair

All you had to do was host your peppy morning talk show and not get in trouble. But apparently that was asking too much of T.J. Holmes and Amy Robach. In early December, the GMA3 co-hosts found themselves in one of the biggest scandals of the year when their affair was discovered by the press. This led to speculation about their marriages, paparazzi blowback on their families and serious repercussions to their careers.

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Both have been “benched” by ABC while the network continues to conduct an investigation into the situation, which is corporate speak for “we’re going to quietly fire them when you’re not paying attention.” Robach will find a way to bounce back because there’s always room for a blonde white woman with personality in the TV business, but Holmes’ reputation has been ruined, as this controversy has opened the door for other illicit rumors to pop up. It will be interesting to see the different paths they take as they try to salvage their careers in 2023.

The Slap

Remember way back in March when Will Smith was on his way to finally winning an Oscar for Best Actor and all he had to do to receive his flowers was make it through one commercial break? Yeah, that seems like an eternity ago to me, too. We all audibly gasped when, after Chris Rock made a callous joke about his wife Jada’s bald head, Will marched onstage, slapped the comedian in the face and yelled at him “keep my wife’s name out your fucking mouth.” At first, everyone questioned whether this was some kind of sketch, but it quickly became clear that this was no joke. Will went on to win, but the achievement was overshadowed by his actions. The decades he spent building himself up as one of the most respected and popular actors in the world evaporated in an instant. He’s since apologized, but that may not be enough for him to make a real comeback.

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As the year comes to an end, he’s receiving praise for his work in Emancipation and some fans seem ready to forgive him. But the Fresh Prince still has a long road ahead before he can possibly get back to where he was. This may have started the year as the moment everyone was talking about, but now that we’ve seen how wild 2022 turned out to be, it’s actually like the fifth or sixth most scandalous thing to happen this year.

The Downfall of Kanye West

Kanye West can yell and scream about being the victim of a conspiracy all he wants, but the hard truth is the only person to blame for the collapse of his career is himself. Turns out that when you spew anti-Black BS and disgusting antisemitic speech, no one wants to sell your music or clothes anymore. It started with a hateful, and clearly ignorant, social media post, which led several companies to distance themselves from the rapper. He then embarked on a hate-filled tour with the absolute worst elements of the far-right, including an appearance on InfoWars with Alex Jones, where he actually said, “I see good things about Hitler.”

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So the man who was once one of the most influential voices in the Black community, and who famously said “George Bush doesn’t care about Black people” on a Hurricane Katrina telethon, is now hanging out with white supremacists and praising Hitler. Yeah, that’s a thing that actually happened in 2022.

Nia Long and Ime Udoka

Ime Udoka started the year on a high note. He led the Boston Celtics to the NBA Finals and was the envy of everyone as he celebrated with his partner, actress Nia Long. Unfortunately, all that changed when the team held a surprising press conference in September announcing that he was being suspended by the team for having a consensual, yet improper relationship with a female Celtics employee. With the whole world watching her private trouble play out across sports media, Long took care of her children, making sure they were protected from the storm.

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In the end the couple, who had been together for 13 years, decided to split up. They plan to focus on co-parenting their son, while Long is looking to start fresh in 2023 with The Best Man: The Final Chapters and her new movie You People.

The Wendy Williams Show Ends Without Wendy

After 13 seasons of Hot Topics and “How you doin,’” The Wendy Williams Show came to an all-too-quiet and somewhat sad end in June. As Wendy addressed multiple medical issues, Season 13 of her show was helmed by a series of guest hosts. Once it became clear that Williams wouldn’t be able to return, producers decided to hand off the show to the most popular and experienced of those hosts, Sherri Shepherd.

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As the end date approached for The Wendy Williams Show, fans began to wonder if the titular star would make one final appearance on the program. She didn’t show up for the finale, and the series just sort of ended as its social media accounts began to randomly disappear. And just like that, The Wendy Williams Show went out with a whimper, not with the bang we always assumed it would.

Honestly, so much happened this year, I’ve only scratched the surface of the biggest scandals of the year. I need a whole other article to cover whatever is going on at Twitter, assuming it’s still around after the holidays.