North Texas Daily

DaBaby’s attempted assault should not be downplayed

DaBaby’s attempted assault should not be downplayed

DaBaby’s attempted assault should not be downplayed
April 22
10:00 2022

A number of hip-hop and music websites have lamented that infamous rapper DaBaby has “once again” caught controversy for a video of him attempting to force a woman to kiss him while she tries to pull away. This blatant display of attempted assault should not be downplayed by anyone, regardless of DaBaby’s history or status.

In the aforementioned video, the Grammy-nominated performer uses both hands to grip a woman’s head while attempting to bring her closer to him so he can kiss her. DaBaby, who’s real name is Jonathan Kirk, lunges at the woman when she initially manages to pull herself away. When his victim again manages to turn her head away, his reaction is caught clearly: Kirk is angry, glaring at the woman in disgust.

Kirk’s reaction goes a long way in illustrating how he expected the altercation to go. The fact that he initiated this attempt at violating a stranger’s personal space shows that he doesn’t respect said boundaries, and his doubling down on the harassment takes a step further in highlighting his total disregard for the woman’s autonomy.

This isn’t the first time DaBaby has shown a lack of respect for women or other demographics. While the video in question happened this past February, the rapper told concert-goers earlier this month to “pull your titties out if you love DaBaby” several times while performing in Las Vegas.

This comment and the video follow a pattern of inappropriate behavior that peaked with a slew of homophobic and misogynistic comments at a show last year, asking fans to turn their cellphone lights on if they didn’t have HIV, or AIDS or if the women in the crowd’s privates’ “smell[ed] like water.”

The comments did result in Kirk losing his spot on the Lollapalooza lineup and receiving severe backlash from the public. But after two more incidents of arguably greater severity, one would think the rapper’s career would be as good as done.

Yet, for men with any kind of status, pushing through their own misogyny is just another hoop that the media will help them jump through.

Louis CK, who admitted to masturbating in front of several women without their consent, won the best comedy album Grammy following a tour where he actually joked about the harassment. Ben Affleck admitted to sexual misconduct and used his press tour for 2017’s “Justice League” as an opportunity to make jokes about the accusations, all while making eight figures from the movie.

DaBaby is unfortunately just another name on an ever-growing list of male celebrities who have abused their status as a means of getting away with sexual and physical misconduct. Sadly, at this stage of the movement to hold artists and celebrities accountable for their actions, it is becoming commonplace for the guilty to shrug off their abuses with little more than a half-assed apology.

“Bae was upset that I blew a kiss at her lil buddy first,” DaBaby wrote in a comment section featuring the video, seemingly an attempt to explain the harassment. “I’m sorry bae.”

Celebrities’ lack of remorse for their actions is not the only problem that perpetuates this continuing abuse. Despite DaBaby’s harassment being caught on video in front of a large crowd, the public reaction to the video is unassuming. If you were to read the title of the video, “DaBaby getting curved by fans,” you wouldn’t expect it to show him forcibly trying to kiss someone.

This blatantly misleading title represents a larger issue surrounding both Kirk’s influence as a performer and the way many people view harassment.

If fans of celebrities are incapable of holding their idols accountable, then they are admitting that a part of them doesn’t care for the victims their favorite artist hurts. While there is an ever-growing debate about separating art from the artist, neither side in any way justifies further propagating the success of said artist.

If we are to hold DaBaby and others accountable, we need to be more diligent in how we label harassment and exploitation of those harmed by men in power.

Featured Illustration By Miranda Thomas

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Ayden Runnels

Ayden Runnels

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