Hip hop MC, Talib Kweli has sued Jezebel Magazine’s parent company G/O Media and one of its writers for $300,000 over an allegedly defaming article.
The rapper claims emotional distress over the article headlined “Talib Kweli’s Harassment Campaign Shows How Unprotected Black Women Are Online and Off.” The article was published on Aug. 4, 2020, and it details the rapper’s Twitter ban and his alleged online harassment of a student activist.
Kweli claims that Jezebel negligently inflicted emotional distress and that he “went into a depression state of loss of appetite, sleeplessness, edgy, anxiety, and discomfort around certain women.” The rapper further alleged that the publication made him a “guinea pig to clarify how black men treat black women.”
The songwriter was at the center of an online harassment issue after he “began incessantly tweeting at Moody, sometimes for more than 12 hours straight in a single day,” as the Jezebel story reported. “During that time, several Black women participated in a campaign to report Kweli for targeted harassment and get him suspended.” After weeks of the incident, Twitter has decided to permanently suspend the musician from their platform for “repeated violations of the Twitter rules.” After the suspension, Kweli wrote on Instagram that he “officially left @twitter for the greener pastures of @patreon.”
“Had Kweli taken issue with the veracity of any of our commentary, he surely would have sued us for libel—but the statute of limitations for libel came and went last year,” Jezebel wrote in an editorial. The rapper can no longer file for a libel case since it’s been more than a year since the article was published. “Obviously, we stand by our story,” the publication wrote. A spokesperson from the publication slammed the lawsuit as having no merit. “This suit, filed two years after the story was published, has no merit and the company will be,” the spokesperson said in a statement. “Jezebel’s article fairly reported on the controversy which led to the permanent suspension of Talib Kweli’s Twitter account.”