It’s been a couple of days since a clip featuring Gayle King went viral, and the mess has yet to die down. The drama on social media ensued after CBS shared a portion of an interview that King did with WNBA player Lisa Leslie. The clip showed King interrogating Leslie over Kobe Bryant’s alleged rape charge back in 2003. Leslie, who was close friends with Bryant, said that the media should stop bringing up the discussion over that alleged crime since he is not here to defend himself. King addressed the backlash in a video, and now #IStandWithGayle is trending on Twitter.
Asking a question about someone's sexual assault allegation and then receiving death threats over it is another prime example of RAPE CULTURE! Bet it would be different if a man had asked that question. #IStandWithGayle #OneVoice1
— Jess Sanchez (@jess2sanchez) February 10, 2020
That hashtag began after Snoop Dogg posted a video saying, among other things, that King should watch out or else he would come and get her. “We expect more from you, Gayle,” he said. The threatening video launched the #IStandWithGayle after people said he crossed the line.
This video of Snoop threatening @GayleKing is disgusting
Referring to Gayle he says: "Funky dog head bitch…respect the family and backoff. Before we come get you.”
Seeing very few people defending Gayle…I know that if she were a white anchor she would have much more support pic.twitter.com/nPopk7uuBb
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) February 7, 2020
Oprah Winfrey, King’s best friend, also spoke out on national TV about the aftermath of that viral interview and said King is not doing well. Winfrey noted that King has to now travel with security because she has gotten death threats over her line of questioning regarding Bryant.
Black people make sure you pay attention to these "Black" people supporting this #IStandWithGayle nonsense. Make no mistake these people will be the first ones to throw you under the bus. These are the people that would have told masters about planned slave revolts during slavery
— Monty Hall (@wodouble22) February 10, 2020
King had already said last week that the video was shown out of context and didn’t include the full interview with Leslie in which the two discussed Byrant’s legacy. However, the backlash continues and has now fueled another side drama with Snoop Dogg over his threatening remarks. Snoop posted another video and said he is a non-violent person and would never hurt anyone. But his original message cannot be denied.
@SnoopDogg you want to stand up for Kobe’s wife, yet disrespect this @GayleKing. You may disagree with her questions about Kobe, but there’s no need to verbally disrespect her. She’s a Black woman who deserves your respect. Unbelievable. #IStandWithGayle https://t.co/QmrTbs0xiU
— peppermintp (@deltagirl083) February 10, 2020
Me Too activist and actress Rose McGowen responded to Snoop’s threats saying, “You want to know why Kobe Bryant is a hero? He apologized to a hurt young woman. Snoop & others, it’s time to stop terrorizing [Gayle King] and [Felicia Sonmez]. Truth hurts. Death hurts. Grow the f— up. Kobe stopped hurting women, so can you.” Sonmez is the Washington Post reporter that got suspended over linking to Bryant’s rape charge in a story about the late NBA player.
When you are a black woman in this country, you feel threatened, and many times people don't stand up for you. #IStandWithGayle
— Karine Jean-Pierre (@K_JeanPierre) February 10, 2020
The dialogue on social media is split in the middle. Many are saying that King doesn’t deserve this backlash for merely asking hard questions. Others, however, say that she shouldn’t have even mentioned the 2003 rape charge because Bryant isn’t here to defend himself. This conversation isn’t over, not by a long shot.