Last Monday morning Nicki Minaj was on “Live! With Regis & Kelly” promoting her new CD “Pink Friday.” Nicki performed “Right Thru Me” and was doing her post-talk Q&A with Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa when Reg seemingly mesmerized by Naj’s badunka-dunk exclaimed, “I love the way you dress. This looks like you’ve got a little strap around you there.” Then outta no where he touches her dress and then slapped Nicki on her backside. Even for the random ramblin 79-year old, this was friggin crazy. Kells in shock herself screamed, “Regis! What just happened?”
What had happened was Regis stepped way over the line and touched America’s self-proclaimed “Black Barbie” in a very inappropriate manner. It was sexual, it was crass and it was totally effed up! Too bad that in 2010 women can get felt up, but don’t really get that fed up. The Young Money ingénue should have beat Regis with that strap. She should have shouted, “WTH”! But instead she smiled. Later on Twitter Nicki revealed that she was “in shock,” but then an hour later she was tweeting “xoxo’s” and promoting her next gig. Business as usual. A real shame because Regis’ manhandling was disgusting. As many of you know, I’m not a Nicki Minaj fan, but this isn’t about her lyrical content or flow… or maybe it was. There seems to be a feeling in the air according to some blogs I’ve read that if Nicki’s freaky enough to rhyme, “I guess it’s my turn/ Maybe it’s time to put this p*ssy on your sideburns,” and to pose spread eagle in a swimsuit, then she shouldn’t be shocked when her derriere gets tapped. Kinda like how wearing a short skirt is asking to be raped, I guess. Do you think folks would have been (more) upset if Regis had slapped Alicia Keys on her bum? Or what if it was Taylor Swift’s booty in question? And haven’t we seen this before? Remember when Adrien Brody felt that tonguing-down Halle Berry was the perfect way to begin his Oscar acceptance speech when he won for Best Actor? Is this a case of male privilege? White patriarchy? A ridiculous sense of self-entitlement? Yes, yes, and yes.
It’s nauseating that Black women’s bodies are still seen as this superhighway of objectification where men can get on and get off as they please. What’s worse is that Black women are shaken, but not stirred enough to act and speak out. How is it that Halle didn’t slap the piss outta Brody is beyond me! Instead it’s easier for us to blame it on rap, on Monster’s Ball, and on Nicki’s tight dress. Thing is even if she had performed in a string bikini while sucking on a BlowPop as she straddled Lil Wayne this still would NOT have been an invitation for Regis or any man to sexually harass her. Yeah, sexual harassment, you heard me correctly. When you touch someone else’s body, whether it’s a child, a man or a woman and they have not given you permission, it’s harassment. Society rarely sees the sexual harassment of people of color, especially Black people, as a violation of our rights and freedoms.
And you know something, I had a problem when Rihanna palmed Nicki’s booty at the AMA’s this year and even when Diana Ross notoriously jiggled Lil’ Kim’s left boob at the MTV VMA’s in ’99. I think all of that groping is inappropriate too, but I don’t feel like it was sexual in nature. Ms. Ross and Rihanna weren’t deriving any pleasure from their acts. I think Lady Di was just in shock at Kim’s peek-a-boo boob and was trying to make a point about discretion and Rihanna was in her own way showing Nicki some love. My thing is, and call me a prude if you want, just keep your hands to yourself in public settings. Do we lack that much self-control? All of this tapping, patting and feeling-up strikes me as ridiculous in a country where men cannot even hold hands or hug without being teased and snapped on (in Africa it’s a sign of manhood and real kinship). Again maybe I’m overreacting. I’ll put on my nun’s habit now and shut-up. Please check Regis’s bootygate in the video below and tell me what you think?