Tory Lanez has found himself in the hot seat, after he was accused of staging an incident involving colorism for publicity purposes.
Sunday night, the Toronto lyricist took to Instagram to share a few candid moments from a recent video shoot with fellow artist Nafe Smallz. In the behind-the-scenes clip, Lanez pauses the production briefly to protest the director’s request to switch out the main lead — a dark skinned model — for a fairer-skinned one.
In the post’s caption, Lanez highlighted the music industry’s checkered history of promoting and enabling colorism in creative spaces.
“As a black man, sometimes I’m going to joke about the black community just like we all do,” he began his impassioned statement. “BUT WHAT I’M NOT GOING TO DO IS ALLOW ANY OF THESE DIRECTORS TO DEVALUE OUR BLACK WOMEN.”
He continued, “Countless times I’ve seen directors swap out our women of color for women of lighter complexion, or women with straighter hair ETC. … IT IS OUR RESPONSIBILITY AS ARTIST TO STAND UP AND NOT LET THIS HAPPEN….it’s BEEN time to embrace our woman of color.”
However, the model from the video shoot, Sultry Shen, disputes the rapper’s claims. Shortly after Lanez comments started to get traction, Shen took to Instagram and inferred that the “Say It” artist staged the interaction, and alleged that her scene didn’t make the final cut.
The rapper insists, however, that he had pure intentions. Monday, Lanez offered up even more of an explanation via Instagram.
“All parties that were involved know exactly what happened in the 30 minutes that I was at the shoot,” he wrote. “Whether or not they wanna be truthful or not.”
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