Shade Court: A Royal Eye Roll, Self-Shade and Netflix Tries It 

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Shade Court: A Royal Eye Roll, Self-Shade and Netflix Tries It 

Here we are for another week of Shade Court in which we will see an unprecedented ruling. But first, remember that you can send all your shade-related conundrums to me at [email protected] and if I feel that justice must be served, I will hand down a ruling.

This time around we tackle a really unnecessary move from Netflix, Nicki Minaj’s lethal bars and possible shade from the Duchess of Cambridge.

Shade Court Docket #2014JZ000030

The Case: The website Bustle raises issue with a particular Netflix practice that many of us have been rudely accosted by.

The Defendant: Bustle

The Evidence:

The Deliberation: I’m very happy that Bustle has addressed this occurrence. We’ve all been there—at least those of us who spend inordinate amounts of time laying horizontal in our beds watching Gilmore Girls. If you’re not familiar with this practice, let me explain: When you elect to watch a television series on Netflix, after a few episodes have played and if you haven’t touched your computer in awhile, (BECAUSE WHY WOULD YOU WHEN THE NEXT EPISODE STARTS AUTOMATICALLY?) Netflix will issue this prompt to make sure you’re not asleep or dead or to see if you have a a real life that involves human interaction.

Not only is this rude because they’re interrupting your program, but Netflix tries to pass it off like, OH WE’RE JUST CHECKING. Just wanna make sure, Kara. You good? You alright? You really want to watch another episode of Archer?

Uh, yeah, Netflix I do. And I don’t really need you asking me all kinds of nosy-ass questions about it, thanks. I know who I am. I know I shouldn’t have watched the entire season of House of Cards in one sitting but gawd, just let me live my life, ok?

The Ruling: Shade

Shade Court Docket #2014JZ000031


The Case: With the release of a new Nicki Minaj song, one writer believes that he has detected some shade in her lyrics.

The Defendant: Wondering Sound

The Evidence:


Specifically, the writer cites lyrics like: “For what it’s worth when I took him I could tell he would never miss you” and “I ain’t even wanna dis you, but tell me what is this bitch issue?”

The Deliberation: I would argue that rap lyrics are very rarely shady. Hip hop often involves a certain amount of posturing that is the antithesis of shade. Rappers are generally very blatant about the targets of their barbs. Nicki doesn’t name any names in her verses, but we can just assume that when she says “you bitches” she referring to everyone—both male and female—in the rap game.

Besides, there’s not a lot of subtly or double-meaning in: “Your time is ticking, you bitches will be around shorter than Vine vids.”

The Ruling: Not shade

Shade Court Docket #2014JZ000032


The Case: Adorkable Taylor Swifts makes an adorkable joke at her own adorkable expense.

The Defendant: Celebebuz

The Evidence:



The Deliberation: This is Taylor’s attempt at being a self deprecating, regular human. I made a joke yesterday about shading yourself, but that self-shade was only made possible by another deliberately shady act performed by a second party. I’m not sure that individuals alone can direct shade unto themselves.

Besides, even if this had come from someone else, its not really shady because Paddington Bear is amazing and any one of us would be lucky to be compared to him.

The Ruling: Not shade

Shade Court Docket #2014JZ000033


The Case: I have combined two cases because they are vey similar and people across the internet and probably the entire world have been referring to both instances as shade. The first involves Angelina Jolie and Hollywood executive Amy Pascal. Pascal was caught saying less than flattering things about Jolie in a series of emails that were leaked following the Sony hack. The photo below shows what we presume to be their first meeting since the incident.

The second case involves one Kate Middleton and some random lady yelling in the background. Kate was in the middle of wrapping Christmas gifts for some sort of photo op when a woman who thought she was in charge barked at the Duchess to “keep wrapping.” Kate, likely wondering “who exactly does this bitch think she’s talking to?” delivered a pitch-perfect eye roll which of course was caught on camera because this was a staged photo op.

The Defendant: All y’all

The Evidence:

The Deliberation: It is a rare day here in shade court. I, your noble shade servant, Ruth Shader Ginsberg if you please, am at a bit of a loss. On one hand, I feel that shade must be spoken or acted out in some way to really get its point across. On the other, I don’t feel comfortable coming down hard on either of these incidents.

Angelina’s look is less shade and more of an all-out death stare. However, I can also see the shadiness in it. She’s almost certainly toning down the look she would have given Pascal if they weren’t in public and surrounded by cameras. And she doesn’t seem to be saying anything particular shady because Amy Pascal knows what she did and it doesn’t need to be said. In that regard, I see the shade.

Now, Kate’s eyeroll is higher on the shade scale, yet, again, I have doubts. The person who yelled at her probably didn’t see her face until the news broke. There was no real guarantee that her eye roll would be seen by the gift wrapping slave driver, and if someone doesn’t receive their shade, does it really exist?

Dorian Corey did not fully explain the nuances that exist between spoken shade and physical shade and without guidance from the ultimate arbiter of shade, I do not feel comfortable making this incredibly important ruling on her behalf. I must, sadly, leave this one up in the air.

The Ruling: Undecided

Images via Getty. Top image by Tara Jacoby, featuring the shade artist at a young age.

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