On Monday afternoon, as Megan Thee Stallion opened up to fans on Instagram after being hospitalized with gunshot wounds earlier this month, she said words no human being should ever have to say: “I didn’t deserve to get shot. I didn’t do shit.”
Rapper Tony Lanez allegedly shot at Megan Thee Stallion and her friend, Kelsey Nicole, after the three argued at a party. The Los Angeles Police Department is investigating the incident as a potential assault with deadly force.
In the weeks since news first broke of the shooting, countless fans have voiced their support for Megan Thee Stallion—but some corners of social media and even a few celebrities have chosen instead to crack jokes. During her Instagram Live session Monday, the rapper fought back tears multiple times as she thanked her dedicated fans—known as “hotties”—for their support. She also condemned those who have treated the incident as funny gossip.
“I really just wanted to get on here and I’m smiling,” Megan said. “Even though a lot of things have been, you know—things that have been making me not smile. But I’m back.”
“I was shot in both of my feet, and I had to get surgery to get the shit taken out,” the rapper added. “Get the bullets taken out. And it was super scary.”
At that point, Megan began to fan her face. “Oh lord, I didn’t think I was going to cry,” she said. “But yeah, I had to get surgery, it was super scary. It was just the worst experience of my life. And it’s not funny. It’s nothing to joke about. It was nothing for y’all to start going and making up fake stories about. I didn’t put my hands on nobody. I didn’t deserve to get shot. I didn’t do shit.”
The violence Megan Thee Stallion experienced, and the jokes some have made in its wake, come at a time when the importance of valuing Black lives is at the forefront of public conversation. As Black Lives Matter protests have spread across the globe, the importance of valuing and protecting Black women and seeking justice for them on more than a superficial level has resurfaced repeatedly. Calls for police to “arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor” have become a meme—drawing critiques from those who argue that doing so devalues and depersonalizes her story, watering down its meaning. As Portland’s “Wall of Moms” has gained notoriety and drawn the president’s ire, many have pointed out that Black moms have been in this fight for generations.
Against this backdrop, the way Megan Thee Stallion’s traumatizing experience has been treated feels like proof of how much progress we have yet to make.
Just days ago, Chrissy Teigen apologized after participating in a Twitter meme by joking, “I have a megan thee stallion joke but it needs to be twerked on.” As fans criticized Teigen for joking about the rapper as she was already dealing with harassment and insensitive humor while also recovering from gunshot wounds, Teigen wrote, “I'll delete because you guys are sooooo f--king annoying. Just unfollow me you absolute tools.” Later on, however, she changed her tune: “I used the play on words joke with a celeb and something their known for with meg and twerking and I should have known that it is just not the right time,” she wrote, “especially for something so dumb and s--tty and pointless as the joke was.”
And last week Basketball Wives’ Draya Michele also apologized after joking on a podcast that she wants someone “to like me so much that if I’m trying to get out the car, and you’re like, ‘No, sit your ass in the car,’ and I’m like, ‘No n---a, I’m getting out the car.’ [He’d say,] ‘No you’re not!’ Bam-bam!”
Michele also compared the rappers’ relationship to Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown’s infamously tumultuous relationship: “I predict that they had some sort of Bobby and Whitney love that drove them down this...type of road,” she said.
Megan Thee Stallion herself summed up the mistreatment she’s endured weeks ago, as she tweeted, “Black women are so unprotected & we hold so many things in to protect the feelings of others w/o considering our own. It might be funny to y’all on the internet and just another messy topic for you to talk about but this is my real life and I’m real life hurt and traumatized.”
During her Instagram Live session Monday, Megan said she believes her late parents and grandmother were looking out for her, keeping the bullets from touching her bones or breaking tendons. She also clarified that she’d taken time before speaking out not because she was “protecting anybody,” but simply because “I just wasn’t ready to speak.”
“That’s not no shit you just immediately get on the internet and start talking about,” the rapper said. “And that’s a lot of y’all’s motherfucking problem. Y’all take your whole life to Instagram and Twitter and make it a fucking diary and that’s not—that’s not me. So fuck y’all with your fake-ass blogs and y’all fake-ass sources and my fake-ass friends.”
“But on a positive note...taking some time to myself, I’ve definitely—it has definitely made me realize how to move forward, and how to protect my energy...Imagine being 25, and you don’t have both your parents. My momma was my best friend. I’m still really not over that.”
At that point, she began to cry once more. “Shit,” she said. “Like, it’s a lot. Jesus.”
“I just feel like I was trying to—I was moving really fast,” Megan said. “I was moving too fast. I wasn’t taking enough time for myself. I thought I was ready to be around a bunch of motherfuckers. I thought I was ready to give good energy to other people, and other people wasn’t ready to give good energy to me. But I definitely have to sit my ass down and pray on it. And I do feel a lot better. And thank God for the people that I have around me that are actually here for me and are actually my friends. Don’t want shit from me. Would never turn on me for no amount of money. No amount of clout. That wouldn’t make up stories about me to save face...Just thank God for them. And thank God for all the hotties and their supporters that I see have had my back through these times.”
The rapper also directly called out anyone who has treated her experience like a joke: “What if your motherfucking sister got shot? Or what if your motherfucking girlfriend got shot? What if your motherfucking best friend got shot? Would you be cracking jokes then?” she asked. “Then you’d want the whole world to stop and feel sorry for you. I don’t expect none of you motherfuckers to feel sorry for me, but it’s just a respect thing.”
“A lot of y’all silly motherfuckers just don’t be having no morals or don’t be having no code to stand on,” she said. “But you know, that’s on y’all, and somebody gonna take care of your ass. Karma gonna take care of your ass. I don’t gotta do it.”
As she closed her video, Megan told her fans, “I just want y’all to know a bitch is alive and well and strong as fuck. And you know, I’m ready to get back to regular programming with my own hot girl shit...Ain’t nobody gonna stop my energy from being good. But what I can’t do is keep putting my energy in a bunch of you motherfuckers. So I love you, hotties, and I love you to everybody who has been sending me messages, and sending me flowers and gifts, and all kind of shit and just the texts in the morning, at night, throughout the day, checking on me. Just thank y’all, because I see all that shit. Just thank y’all.”