protect assault victims

(Rebecca Mena / Daily Titan) 

On Oct. 8, rapper Tory Lanez was charged with assault with a semiautomatic firearm and carrying a loaded, unregistered firearm in a vehicle. These charges were announced almost three months after an alleged altercation between rapper Megan Thee Stallion and Lanez, hitting the popular music industry with yet another abuse-filled controversy. 

The victim Stallion was allegedly shot in the foot by Lanez –– born Daystar Peterson –– during an argument, which some believed had to do with their romantic relationship. 

As more information about the shooting unravelled, Lanez and his team were steady at work, handling the damage control that allegedly spun the narrative and the facts. Stallion –– born Megan Pete ––  was infuriated, and Lanez’s bad publicity forced her to post on Instagram Live and reveal that she was allegedly shot in the foot by him and chose not to report it due to concerns over endangering his life with the police.

While the he-said-she-said argument continued, many fans created their own theories and took sides based on who they believed the most. 

Then, Lanez released “Daystar,” an album filled with hate and misogyny toward the woman who protected his life from authorities, even after the alleged shooting. Stallion put his safety in front of her own, yet her payback is a disgusting album designed to stir controversy. 

Lanez’s album reached 47.7 million on-demand streams, debuting on the Billboard 200 at No. 10. 

The continual support of abusers even after their scandals has been deeply rooted in the history of the music industry. Singers Chris Brown, R. Kelly and record producer Dr. Luke have had their share of controversy, and the list of offenders doesn’t stop there. 

Supporting abusers by buying their music, going to their concerts or even hate-streaming their projects is all part of a vicious cycle that enables their careers to continue to flourish. Their notoriety keeps them on top, and it needs to stop. 

To truly support victims of abuse, their alleged perpetrators need to be held accountable, in this case, it means disconnecting and steering clear of their platforms. The excommunication of these abusers, some convicted and some alleged, will not only bring justice to their victims but also set a precedent for those who think that they can get away with toxic, abusive behaviors. 

Surprisingly, these victims of abuse are often scrutinized by the public. Stallion was dragged across the mud by doubters, those who like to play “devil’s advocate.” The people who have to hear both sides of the story use this excuse as a guise to uphold misogyny and excuse the behaviors of predators.  

Lanez’s album “Daystar” was released the day after the indictment decision of Breonna Taylor’s case. This case is extremely significant to the Black Lives Matter movement, and shows the discrepancies regarding how society has valued the life of Black women. Cases like Taylor’s and Stallion’s show how poor our society has treated Black women, and these are only the most recent examples. 

Just when one would think this would be the end of the trauma, Stallion’s bravery and heroism was met with a general public that didn’t fully support her. A general public that allowed her abuser’s album to debut at top 10. 

Sadly, this experience isn’t unique to Stallion. Looking back at Kesha’s infamous legal battles with alleged abuser and former producer Dr. Luke, women have been forced to watch their alleged abusers avoid the consequences of their actions. Artists like Stallion and Kesha are constantly forced to relive their traumas as their alleged abusers run free around Hollywood. 

Despite Lanez’s charges, he continues to place the blame on Stallion, betting on a truth to come out that he thinks will rid him of any responsibility from the shooting. A charge may not be a conviction, but it definitely is the road to one. 

The voices of women, especially Black women, often go unheard and underrepresented. But it’s time to show support for survivors and stop overlooking their alleged abusers’ actions. By holding their alleged abusers accountable, we show to women and assault victims that they will be heard and believed. 

Lanez didn’t just release a 17-track steaming pile of garbage, but he also released an album attacking multiple women, notably Black female rappers. 

Support is support, any publicity is good publicity and it was proven when Lanez’s album hit #1 on the Apple Music charts. 

No matter what the intention was, those who supported by listening and increasing his numbers only made matters worse. Victims like Megan have to sit back and watch their alleged abusers continue to have successful careers without any kind of repercussions.

Cancel culture is obviously extremely toxic, but taking away the platforms from those who allegedly commit such disgusting acts like this is the moral thing to do. Society cannot raise a new generation of people like Lanez who believe that their actions have no consequence. 

When we give platforms and lauds to these women who bravely put their careers and well-being in danger, we support the word of women and the victim. By doing so, we create a better environment for victims to speak up and believe that their experiences will be heard and taken seriously. 

Stop supporting abusers. No album is ever good enough for people to overlook the disgusting actions of the artist behind them. The music industry is saturated with unproblematic artists, sothere should be no excuse.  

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, then contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. The hotline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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