A few days ago rapper/singer Tory Lanez posted a video on Instagram explaining a very uncomfortable situation that occurred on set during Nafe Smallz’s music video for, “Good Love.” According to Tory, he had to call “cut” on his scene once the director on set decided to switch a model with a darker skin tone for another who was lighter.The singer posted a video to let the world see what went down with the caption, “This is an on-going problem in our community of entertainment that needs to stop. As a black man, sometimes I’m going to joke about the black community just like we all do. BUT WHAT IM NOT GOING TO DO IS ALLOW ANY OF THESE DIRECTORS TO DE-VALUE OUR BLACK WOMEN… countless times I’ve seen directors swap out our women of color for women of lighter complexion, or women of straighter hair ETC… IT IS OUR RESPONSIBILITY AS ARTIST TO STAND UP AND NOT LET THIS HAPPEN… it’s BEEN time to embrace our women of color,” with the hashtag, #blackisbeautiful.
Social media quickly responded giving him props for acknowledging the colorism that perpetuates in the entertainment industry. The backlash would soon follow the empowering words Lanez spoke and this time from an unlikely source.
Sultry Shen, the darker skinned model who appears in the music video, took to Instagram to refute Lanez’s claims of defending her in the colorist attack. She claims the entire video of Tory defending her was staged.
“LIIESSSS!!!! I AM THE DARK SKINNED GIRL IN THE VIDEO AND THIS IS F***ING UP PEOPLES BAG!!!! HE ASKED FOR BOTH ME AND THE LIGHT SKINNED GIRL,” Shen exclaims on her Instagram with the hashtags #FAKENEWS and #YOUCANTUSEME.
Shen also posted a dm she received from Lanez that said, “ Yo. I’m glad you made the cut and people got to see what really happened. Keep doing u baby girl.” Shen fired back, “You should have had this same energy on set,” with the hashtag #SETUPONSET.
According to Shen, her scenes did not make the final cut.
“Where is the scenes then if @torylanez wanted me so bad?!!!”
Once social media and the blogs posted the model’s claims and Lanez started receiving negative scrutiny, he posted a long message defending himself against those who think he’s lying.
“This is the one and only time ima address this. I went out of my way to bring awareness to an important topic of discussion that never gets addressed. The internet has a funny way of tryna take the light off of truthful shit. IF this was a publicity stunt, why would I be doing it for someone else’s music video? Why wouldn’t I have paid the females involved? And if I did pick both girls then how come there are only shots of me with the ebony model and not with the other one? Mind y’all this video shoot happened 3 months ago and a behind the scenes cameraman dm’d it to me the other day. All parties that were involved know exactly what happened in the 30 minutes that I was at the shoot. Whether or not they wanna be truthful or not. Much love.”
This is a very sensitive subject that sadly just so happens to be an ongoing issue in the music industry and the black community. There has been much talk about different rappers and singers who have light-skinned models as leads. Nonetheless, Tory’s words were touching and brought awareness to the colorism issue in entertainment, however, many expressed their disappointment after hearing Shen’s allegations.
What do you think about this whole situation? Do you believe Tory? Shen?