Over the weekend, beauty YouTuber Kandee Johnson, posted an IGTV video on her account captioned, “SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT,” addressing some accusations against her. She explains and apologizes for her part in the ongoing feud between small beauty business “Sahi Cosmetics” and the bigger beauty company, “Beauty Blender.” Events Leading Up To Kandee’s Apology The story, as told by Kandee, began when she posted a video onto her YouTube channel on Friday September 19th. As a well established beauty YouTuber (Kandee has been making videos since 2008), her videos are usually welcomed with kind words and excitement. So when she began receiving hate comments on her most recent video, Kandee was alarmed. Comments were pouring in about Kandee being a thief, not supporting small businesses and that she needs to be cancelled. As it turns out, Shelly Sahi, owner of Sahi Cosmetics, had mentioned Kandee Johnson earlier that day in a TikTok as an abetting aid in an on-going feud between her cosmetic company and bigger makeup brand, Beauty Blender. @shellysahi Our launch: 3/2018 Theirs 4/2019 FabFiFun: 9/2018 they knew. Reply to @_.cmj._ #GetTheLook #storytime #cosmetics #makeup #foryou #story #beauty ♬ original sound – Sheleen Sahi Deep Dive The story starts further back! In August, an upset Shelly Sahi took to TikTok to vent frustration and call out Beauty Blender, a larger makeup company, for stealing her primer serum. @shellysahi Posted this the day after my husbands birthday because I didn’t want him to know how sad I was. I’m feeling better today! #foryou #storytime #makeup ♬ original sound – Sheleen Sahi In two follow up TikToks, Sahi explains that both serums use nine of the same key ingredients. On top of that, the products look alike and use similar verbiage in their product description online. The Sahi Cosmetic primer serum was released in 2018, and although made by the small company, has received attention having been featured in a Fab Fit Fun Box. Beauty Blender’s primer was released 2019, but it wasn’t until August of 2020 that Sahi realized the company might have stolen her serum. The TikTok accusing Beauty Blender of stealing from Sahi’s small business quickly went viral. Beauty Blender took to Instagram to respond with a slightly snarky photoset. Founder of Beauty Blender, Rea Ann Silva, reposted the snarky photoset on her personal Instagram with the caption, “to my friends in the beauty community: It was a disheartening day watching cancel culture unfold bc of a misinformed viral video. I can say on behalf of my brand, we aren’t going anywhere, anytime soon. 💪🏽 Beautyblender was built on innovation & originality. But as leaders in this industry, we have to work together to put an end to cancel culture. Our work and creativity was meant to inspire and uplift, never tear down or diminish. #StopCancelCulture.” Kandee Johnson, unaware of the feud and fan of Silva and the Beauty Blender brand, commented on Silva’s post. In true Kandee fashion, never wanting anyone to be bullied, she encouraged her industry peer by commenting, “you are and always will be an originator and innovator!” Okay now pay attention because this is where things get sticky… Kandee, getting swarmed with hate on her first video back since Sahi’s original two TikTok’s on the serum scandal went viral, directly messaged Sahi on her personal Instagram. She asked Sahi to call off her followers from bullying her. Kandee also explained it was never her intention to hurt Sahi or her business and apologized for anything perceived as malintent. I would be more excited if you didn't harass small business owners to deepen your own pockets! — Lisa (@NJBlouses) September 18, 2020 To give you more insight on Kandee’s character, in case you have never seen Kandee’s videos or heard of her, this is the kind of content she puts out all the time, ever since she’s had a platform. Don’t you give up! Don’t you listen to the negative thoughts in your head. You’re gonna get through this! You’ve got this! Tell yourself “I can do this! I can make it!” YOU’VE GOT BIG HAPPY MOMENTS, dreams & a comeback story -that might be right around the corner from today! — Kandee Johnson (@kandeejohnson) September 16, 2020 Nobody would peg her as someone who would take down a small business in any way. Cancel culture has become such a trend, that everyone seems to be waiting for a chance to “expose” those with “pristine” reputations. Not to get all “Kandee Johnson” on you, but the all-too-eagerness to destroy someone’s character publicly like this, only exposes the negativity in the “cancel-er’s” heart. Sahi posted a second update on the serum scandal this past weekend asking her followers not to send hate to Kandee as she wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt (right….because you didn’t already drag her name through the mud…). In the update, she explained how Sahi Cosmetics worked with Kandee’s agent to have her test some of their products. Sahi was enraged and hurt by Kandee’s comment on Silva’s Instagram post, interpreting it as a slap in the face to her business and that she was siding with Beauty Blender, as she was under the impression Kandee had tried her serum. She reminded viewers that influencers should fact check before commenting, but that they are not who hate should be directed towards. @shellysahi Influencers have great power and responsibility! #GetTheLook #storytime #cosmetics #makeup #foryou #story #beauty #MyArt ♬ original sound – Sheleen Sahi This is when Kandee took to Instagram to issue an apology and explain her side of the story. We won’t hash out the entirety of the seventeen minute long video, but in it she explains how she had actually never gotten Sahi’s primer. Kandee provides all her digital receipts (DM’s, emails, screenshots of comments, etc.) proving her apology genuine. She also reached back out to Sahi to offer to apologize to her via phone. Kandee’s Fans Defend In her twelve years of making beauty videos for YouTube and spreading positivity, Kandee has made a dedicated fanbase for herself. When allegations began circulating about her and her character, fans were quick to defend the the beloved makeup artist and offer her support. FIRST OF ALL… how DARE y’all come for @kandeejohnson?! I’ve never actually met this woman but every time I watch her videos, they make me SO happy. I’ve watched her for YEARS & she just seems like the most amazing light of a human being. Keep shining, Kandee! The OG’s love you. — ᴀsʜʟᴇʏ ᴛᴇʟʟᴇᴢ (@ashtellez) September 20, 2020 Ily Kandee you didn’t deserve any of that I tried to stick up for you – the owner was being so hateful and mean when replying to my comment- completely unprofessional idk why anyone would target you like that your soul is too pure for this world — Jillian Cooper (@JillianJewelz) September 21, 2020 So sorry this is happening to you Kandee. You are such a sweet person and her refusing to talk to you to resolve it makes her look bad IMO. Sending you lots of love! — Renee (@minreneee) September 20, 2020 Just the thought of you doing anything malicious has me more confused than anything… much less something like this. Anyone who knows you at all knows that you’re the kindest and most genuine human to ever exist. So sorry you’re dealing with this mess ☹️❤️ pic.twitter.com/yBQqHr2wlF — Lily Marston (@lily_marston) September 20, 2020 Many fans agreed that this scandal and dragging Kandee into this was not a good look for Sahi or her business. This is not a good look for this woman wanting to start up a business. Extremely unprofessional. Kudos to you for the utmost class & professionalism. — Debra Vincent🌊😻☕🕊😷 (@DebraVincent29) September 20, 2020 This is…not a great way to start a business 😞 — ɐɯɯʎ Sʇᴉlǝʇʇo Tammy Stiletto (@TammyStiletto) September 21, 2020 Final Update On The Kandee Situation Sahi posted another update on the serum scandal yesterday addressing Kandee’s personal apology to her (through DMs). In this update she acknowledged that Kandee said she would make sure to fact check in the future, and the two are now on the same page. Overall a positive response. @shellysahi Reply to @chinalovescake #greenscreen thank you for sharing this comment! Thank you @kandeejohnson #HeyAngel #makeup #cosmetics #fyp ♬ original sound – Sheleen Sahi So while we don’t think this is the end of the primer serum scandal between Sahi Cosmetics and Beauty Blender, it seems Kandee Johnson’s name has been cleared. While it’s a shame Kandee had to be brought into this, let this be a lesson to us all that we should focus on accountability rather than destroying someone’s character, have kindness, and to always get the full facts before making statements. Cancel culture aside, Sahi Cosmetics has been getting a lot of attention from this scandal. Knowing all the details so far, do you think the brand is just making a stink to get publicity? Or is this a part of a bigger fight for small businesses against a world of big businesses and powerful corporations?
Cancel Culture has gotten out of hand, and we are seeing the results of it out in the streets now in 2020. The Black Lives Matter riots, the Antifa criminal activity and the overall focus on cancelling anyone we disagree with has become standard procedure in today’s day of extreme polarization. We need to put an end to this attack strategy, and the lineup for Cancelled: Enough is Enough! is doing everything they can to make sure that we Cancel Cancel Culture! I had the honor of getting to interview each of these defenders of Free Speech, most of whom have been on the receiving end of getting cancelled. Nick Searcy is a Hollywood actor featured in a long list of feature films and hit television shows, including The Shape of Water, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Justified and Fried Green Tomatoes. One of his big concerns with Cancel Culture is that Hollywood is controlling storytelling, taking away the voice of writers, directors and actors. Storytelling is getting ruined by the authoritarian control, only allowing particular narratives to be included in any of the content being put out by the major studios. He is currently working with Creado Studios to create a platform to give the power of storytelling back to creators, all without the censorship off Hollywood. Michelle Shocked is a Grammy Award Nominated musician who has been on the receiving end of multiple attempts to cancel her. Although she is quite progressive, loves Black Lives Matter and strong support of AOC, she also sees the danger of Cancel Culture and is doing what she can to end it. In 2013, she was launching a three month tour that got cancelled after the first night due to the outrage mob who took something that she said out of context, took to social media and then pressured the concert promoters to cancel her entire tour. During this conversation, we discuss the difference between boycotting and cancelling, and that’s an important distinction. Michelle also points out the role that Social Media and Big Tech have played in the development of Cancel Culture. Dr Robert Oscar Lopez, aka Bobby Lopez, was fired from his position at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary simply for discussing how sex abuse plays into LGBTQ issues, sharing his experience of coming out of the homosexual lifestyle. There’s also a larger problem within academia in general that has led to the complete rooting out of conservative voices, even among Evangelical colleges and seminaries. Bobby exposed the problem of money and influence within the education system, and then dove into what we can do to fix these problems, which included eliminating tenure and governmental oversight to protect conservatives being persecuted within the academic world. Denise McAllister brings the event to a close, refocusing all of our attention onto the root problem: a lack of objective truth. Truth has now become something subjective in today’s post-modern world. This has caused an extreme polarization, as the rioters in the street believe in a completely different reality than those of us that are conservative. We have to bring it back to objective truth, which is also rooted in the Bible. If we are going to turn things around in our country, it’s going to have to start within bringing things back to Scripture, which is what the Founding Fathers pointed to in our founding documents. I hope that this is an eye-opening, as well as encouraging, event. This should help you to understand the problem of Cancel Culture, as well as what we can do about it. COVID-19 may take down an independent news outlet Nobody said running a media site would be easy. We could use some help keeping this site afloat. Colleagues have called me the worst fundraiser ever. My skills are squarely rooted on the journalistic side of running a news outlet. Paying the bills has never been my forte, but we’ve survived. 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(golubovy/iStock/Getty Images Plus)It doesn’t take much to find yourself with a target on your back these days. NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE I n the last couple of days, I was caught in what is called a “Twitter sh**storm.” It started with a piece I read in the Guardian about Black Lives Matter demonstrations, and it ended, via Jean-Marie Le Pen, with the American-Dutch-Somali intellectual Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Let me explain from the beginning. Advertisement Eight days ago, in a piece titled “Nearly all Black Lives Matter protests are peaceful despite Trump narrative, report finds,” the Guardian reported that “the vast majority of the thousands of Black Lives Matter protests this summer have been peaceful, with more than 93% involving no serious harm to people or damage to property, according to a new report tracking political violence in the United States.” The fallacy inherent in this line of thinking should be obvious, but in case it isn’t, let’s apply the same logic to the 9/11 attacks: “On September, 11, 2001, almost all the airplanes in the sky reached their destinations safely, about 99.9 percent of all buildings in Manhattan remained undamaged, and most Manhattanites remained safe, just like their properties.” In the U.S., every day 7,600 people die from all kinds of causes: accidents, illnesses, murders. In the grand scheme of things, the number of people who died on 9/11 may be relatively low, but their deaths shook the West’s consciousness and completely changed our perception of the world. Everything was suddenly different, from how we go about protecting our nations from terrorism to how we say goodbye to our loved ones when they leave the house in the morning. The violence on the streets of America’s inner cities this summer has a had a similar kind of impact, if on a much smaller scale. Every business that has been destroyed by blind hate is a tiny 9/11 for the people who have worked for it, suffered for it, sweated for it. Advertisement The report on which the Guardian article was based was conceived by some academics at Princeton University. They examined 7,750 demonstrations that took place across the U.S. under the flag of Black Lives Matter between May 26 and August 22. Their conclusion was just as the Guardian said: 93 percent of the demonstrations were peaceful. Advertisement Do the math, and you find this means that 542 demonstrations during that three-month period were not peaceful. But to the report’s authors and the Guardian, this must have seemed beside the point: The phrase “despite Trump narrative” in the piece’s headline was what needed to be communicated; the misrepresentation of the underlying statistics was just a means to that end. And the gambit worked! I happened to listen to a radio program in the Netherlands, where I now live, and the participants did exactly what the Guardian and the Princeton researchers must have hoped: They used it as evidence that Trump’s narrative about the violence of the demonstrations was deceitful. After all, only 7 percent of the protests could be described as violent, and seven is almost equal to zero, isn’t it? Advertisement Naturally, by this point I was upset. So I did what one does when one is upset these days: I wrote a tweet. Translated from the original Dutch, it reads: “Just now on @NPORadio1, the message that in the US 93% of all BLM demos are peaceful. This is statistical juggling. 570 riots with violence on 220 locations brought misery for 1000s of people.” Alongside it, I linked to a short video of BLM protesters harassing people in Rochester, N.Y. Advertisement So far, so good. But I was worked up and felt another tweet forcing its way into my mind. The discussion was so laughable, the figures were so misleading, that I felt they warranted a bit of dark sarcasm. So I wrote it up and fired it off: “The Nazi occupation of The Netherlands was 99% peaceful. Did you ever think about this, you at @NPORadio1?” It wasn’t enough. I still was angry. So I made a third tweet: “The BLM demo’s were 93% peaceful, @NPORadio1 and @TomKleijnNL [a former Dutch correspondent in the U.S. who was a part of the radio discussion], and 93% of the buildings in the riot cities are still standing. Here’s a picture of a street in Kenosha; look carefully, only 5 buildings destroyed. This is all about nothing. Some wanted to have some fun. Trump lies.” At this point, I felt a bit better, having expressed how ridiculous I found the report and the coverage of it in properly pointed terms. But within minutes, I received some replies condemning me for downplaying the Nazi occupation. So I sent a fourth tweet: “If followers don’t understand ‘sarcasm’, please go someplace else. Definition: ‘Sarcasm is biting humor condemning exactly what it seems to praise.’” Advertisement I had no idea what would happen. I was soon to find out. A Dutchman teaching at the University of Georgia, a professor named Cas Mudde, had seen my Dutch tweets and evidently felt compelled to respond. He translated the last one, leaving out the crucial context of the second sentence with the tag of the radio station, and he added a line about Jean-Marie Le Pen. In so doing, he twisted my sarcastic invocation of the Nazi occupation into an endorsement: “Jean-Marie Le Pen: Holocaust was detail in Second World War. Leon de Winter: Nazi occupation of Netherlands was 99% peaceful.” It was a pretty low blow from Mudde, who had without a doubt seen the full chain of tweets and knew exactly what I had meant. Add that he also knows I am a Jew whose family was wiped out by the Nazis, and who thus despises Jean-Marie Le Pen, and his attempt to make me into some kind of neo-Nazi seems downright despicable. Inevitably, his tweet was retweeted. A wave of insults, condemnations, and misinterpretations washed over me. Mudde had touched off the “Twitter s**tstorm” I mentioned above, and I was feeling its full force. I’ll survive, of course. But if I had lived in the U.S. and held an academic position, I would have been chased from campus by angry crowds of students. If I had owned a business, it would have been destroyed by boycotts or outright violence. That’s how it works nowadays in America, thanks in no small part to ruthless leftist academics like Cas Mudde. While I was writing this, a friend asked me whether I’d ever had an encounter with Mudde before his recent attacks. I googled his and my names, and I found a four-year-old tweet he’d written about my friend Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the courageous and smart Somali activist and writer who now lives in the U.S. I had forgotten about this. Advertisement “O look, Germany now has a Hirshi [sic] Ali as well, ‘exotic woman’ who is allowed to spread prejudices on the basis of ‘expertise,’” he’d written, linking to an interview with a German Muslim woman who had published a book about violence by young Muslims. It is a disgusting tweet. One smells the hatred Mudde feels for this “exotic woman,” who, according to him, doesn’t have “expertise” in the way that he does, and makes a living spreading prejudices about female circumcision. Referring to the German writer as “A Hirshi Ali,” as if Ayaan were a certain type of fraud, only compounded the insult. I’d first read it a year later, in 2017, and replied: “Who is Cas Mudde? Under the mask of a multiculturalist, there is a leftist fascist and misogynist.” Reminding myself of this exchange brought Mudde’s motives into focus: The Twitter s**t storm he’d unleashed was his payback for my defense of Ayaan. And the way he’d mishandled my tweet proved my original point: Cas Mudde is a leftist fascist.
Walter Cronkite during a forum at the Kennedy Library in Boston, Mass., in 2005. (Jessica Rinaldi/Reuters)The journalism school at Arizona State University caves to student activists. Walter Cronkite said on receiving a global-governance award in 1999: “I am in a position to speak my mind. And that is what I propose to do.” Today, those who attend the journalism school named after the famed broadcaster are not so lucky. The spread of “cancel culture” in newsrooms — declaring people henceforth “canceled” from society owing to ideological disagreements — is nothing new. Look no further than the hysterical reaction to Senator Tom Cotton’s New York Times op-ed urging government to use its authorities under the Insurrection Act to “restore order to our streets” amid riots and looting. Newsroom activists flooded Twitter, objecting to its publication. The opinion editor was forced out. And the Times attached a note at the top of the op-ed (nearly 40 percent as long as the piece itself) apologizing for daring to publish the opinion of a sitting U.S. senator. Advertisement It was entertaining that Cotton’s tame commentary provoked such a disproportionate meltdown from those who consider themselves serious journalists. But that this scourge is seeping into local campus newsrooms is deeply worrisome — and seep it has. The first sign of cancel culture bubbling up at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication involved Sonya Duhé, whom the university named dean this spring. Her tenure was cut short almost instantly after she published a tweet praying for “the good police officers who keep us safe.” Advertisement The protest-allied campus revolted against the incoming dean’s “racist” tweet and provoked a former student to accuse Duhé of committing “four years of microaggressions” against her. Other students would come forward to allege that she had made similar “microaggressive comments” to them. Advertisement It wasn’t one week before the Cronkite School revoked its offer and pledged to be more “inclusive” moving forward. Things have only gotten worse — and, now that administrators have gotten used to the sweet taste of cancel culture, it appears that student journalists themselves are on the dinner plate. When Cronkite News, the news division of Arizona PBS, published a poll following a May looting spree in Scottsdale, progressive students complained that the poll’s language was too friendly toward police officers — so Cronkite News folded to the pressure. It deleted the poll and apologized for causing “divisiveness”: “It was not our intention to downplay the actions of law enforcement.” When a second young journalist published a Q&A with a former police officer in June, students complained that this exchange also was too friendly. Once again, Cronkite News folded to the pressure. It wiped the Q&A offline and replaced it with an apologetic note pledging to “better serve and represent our communities, especially the black community and other communities of color.” Advertisement Advertisement The list goes on. The most recent “cancel” target is Rae’Lee Klein, a young journalist at the Cronkite School’s Blaze Radio. After the police-involved shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wis., Klein, on her personal Twitter account, linked to a New York Post investigation and wrote: “Please read this article to get the background of Jacob Blake’s warrant. You’ll be quite disgusted.” Progressive students were apoplectic. The board voted to remove her as station manager, threatened to resign if she did not, and released a statement from “Blaze Radio alumni” condemning her for trying to “dehumanize and insinuate blame on the victims of police violence.” Luckily, Klein has refused to resign or succumb to this cancel culture flare-up, explaining on-air her decision to push back against “a situation where our opinions and our beliefs are held against us or [are] characteristic of our ability to lead.” Advertisement While she plants her feet, other young journalists at ASU understandably are reaching for the escape hatch. In August, two such undergraduates founded The Western Tribune, an “independent student journalism” website, as a home to “the oft unheard voices of our generation.” They won’t be the last. These campus newsrooms are a means for tomorrow’s leaders to write down, or say out loud, the opinions they’ve been keeping in their minds and to see if those ideas stand up to the scrutiny of the real world. These young ideas rarely do — and the invaluable lesson that students glean from that realization will be lost forever if administrators cut them off at the knees by continuing to appease oversensitive cry-bullies whose antics threaten these vital sandboxes. If things continue as they do, soon there will be no conservatives left to cancel, and progressive journalists will only be left to cancel themselves like a scorpion stinging itself to death. And that’s the way it will be. Brian Anderson is founder of the Saguaro Group, an Arizona-based political research firm.
After “Star Wars” star Gina Carano added the joke pronouns “boop/bop/beep” to her Twitter bio to stand against pressure to use false descriptions of people’s sex, she faced the usual vicious attacks by sock puppets and poorly adjusted online denizens. Unlike many other celebrities and athletes, however, Carano is not reversing herself and apologizing to the mob. The MMA fighter is going for the jugular, continuing to stand firm on the realities that men are men and women are women, and speech policing is an aspect of totalitarianism. It all started when Carano got sick of online harassment over her refusal to signal support for de-sexing humanity. She put “boop/bop/beep” into her bio, mocking the leftist virtue signal of putting on social media the pronouns people demand that others use regardless of accuracy, on pain of job loss, relationship destruction, and public harassment. “I’m not against trans lives at all,” she wrote pointedly. “They need to find less abusive representation.” Rather than bend to the heat that resulted from boldly speaking her mind, Carano continued to reject the barrage of bullying that ensued, even playing with her would-be tormenters. Carano has a history of courage in the face of cancel culture. In August, she faced down harassment for posting to Twitter a famous picture of a man refusing to salute Adolf Hitler. She was called a “Nazi” for highlighting resistance to the OG Nazis — the National Socialist Party of mid-20th-century Germany. Carano has also been harassed for refusing to give homage to leftist idols, including not expressing support for the Marxist Black Lives Matter organization and refusing to say “all cops are b-stards.”