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How Tory Lanez case demonstrates Hollywood’s misogyny

Rapper Tory Lanez has been found guilty of shooting Megan Thee Stallion in the foot. But angered responses from Lanez’ fans – and the demonisation of Stallion – highlight Hollywood’s persistent issue with successful Black women. 

Since the summer of 2020, rapper Megan Thee Stallion has claimed Tory Lanez shot her in the foot multiple times after leaving a party in the Hollywood Hills.

After a small dispute led Megan to insult Lanez’s music, he followed her out of a car and shot at her feet shouting ‘dance, b****!’.

Despite the severity of Megan’s claims, she has rarely been taken seriously in the aftermath. In fact, a number of significant figures in the rap industry – most of them friends with Lanez – have taken opportunities to drag Megan’s name very publicly through the mud.

Most notable of these incidents was when Drake released his new album ‘Her Loss’ in November 2022. On the track ‘Circo Loco’, Drake raps ‘this b***h lie ‘bout gettin’ shots but she still a stallion / she don’t even get the joke, but she still smilin’.

Megan responded on Twitter shortly after the tracks release, imploring male rappers to stop attacking her and claiming they ‘dog pile on a black woman when she say one of y’all homeboys abused her’.

Drake was one of many to openly support Lanez right up until last week’s trial.

But despite the abuse hurled at Megan, Lanez was found guilty on three counts: discharging a firearm with gross negligence, assault with a semiautomatic firearm, and carrying a loaded, unregistered firearm in a vehicle.

Lanez could face up to 22 years in prison for the charges.

Deputy District Attorney said Megan’s testimony was not enough to charge Lanez, but eye-witness accounts and an apology from Lanez provided critical layers of evidence.

Bott told the jury they should believe Megan, as she ‘never would have subjected herself to the torrent of public abuse she’s received if she wasn’t telling the truth’.

‘Why would she lie?’ the LA County DA said. ‘She’s been subjected to a stream of hate. For what? For coming forward as a victim of domestic violence?’.

The DA’s comments highlight the continued issue Hollywood has with successful Black women. And women, period.

At the core of this case is a woman abused violently by a man.

Yet even in the courtroom, Lanez’ attorney tried to spin the incident and paint Megan as a scorned woman.

In his closing argument, George Mgdesyan told jurors that Megan’s story was a lie to cover up ‘the embarrassing, potentially career-damaging truth that she was shot by her best friend – not Lanez – in a jealous dispute over him’.

Mgdesyan’s words are telling. Not only do they claim that to be shot by another woman is ‘embarrassing’, implying that woman-on-woman violence is in some way laughable.

But they also disregard Megan’s pain and trauma, despite Mgdesyan stating that Megan was in fact shot – even if not by Lanez himself.

Mgdesyan mocked Megan’s experience along with countless members of the press and public.

‘It’s been so bad for her,’ he said. ‘She’s won Grammys. She’s had number ones on the Billboard charts.

‘You know who it’s been bad for? That man right there,’ Mgdesyan said of Lanez. ‘He hasn’t been able to work. He’s had to go through this with his family for 2 1/2 years.’

Using Megan’s achievements to validate her status as a liar, to minimise her suffering – as if fame and success can outweigh any form of trauma – highlights the dismissal of Black women by those in positions of power.

Following the trial, Megan’s lawyers told reporters ‘the jury got it right. I am thankful there is justice for Meg’.

Lanez will face up to 22 years in prison for the attack. But while his supporters continue to dismiss Megan, the case has sparked international conversation around the treatment of Black female victims, their reluctance to speak to the police, and the gender politics of hip-hop.


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