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edge staff writer


Celebrity Slam - Hostage hoax

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One of the things that we always try to do here at Celebrity Slam is keep things light. Sure, we dish out the scorn and mockery pretty liberally when it comes to famous folks saying and doing stupid things, but we generally steer clear of the genuinely terrible. There are certain things that simply aren’t funny.

For instance, if a celebrity was to release a video in which he was terrorizing a person and holding him captive – a person noted for criticism of said celebrity – that wouldn’t be something of which we’d be comfortable making fun. That’s scary, dangerous, criminal behavior.

However, if it later turned out that said video was in fact a sharply-produced joke – one where both the celebrity and his captive were in on the gag – then we certainly would have no issue with have a few chuckles.

That’s what happened with Tyrese Gibson and comedian Michael Blackson earlier this week.

So Tyrese posted a video online at 3 a.m. In it, he’s looming over a man wearing nothing but his underpants who is bound and gagged on a couch. Tyrese is also apparently eating ramen. The man on the couch is Blackson, who appears to be fearful for his safety.

The posting led to the LAPD receiving a bunch of phone calls, which in turn led to them investigating the scene. However, when they arrived, it was made clear that the video was simply a joke – one that Blackson was totally in on.

Some context would probably be helpful at this point. Tyrese had a fairly intense breakdown a few weeks back with regards to the custody battle surrounding his daughter; he posted the video online. In response, Blackson made a video mocking the breakdown that went viral.

Add it all up and you can sort of see how people might have believed that Tyrese had actually snapped and kidnapped Blackson (though considering Tyrese wound up getting 50/50 custody, folks probably should have utilized some critical thinking skills). Further muddying the waters is the fact that the pair are still apparently committed to the bit; they’re staying in character when they’ve subsequently appeared in public.

So there’s no question that this whole thing was a hoax. But there is another question that looms large: why?

It’s difficult to come up with any sort of sensible explanation for why Tyrese would do something like this. Your stability has already been called into question by numerous people in recent weeks; why would you put something out there that exacerbates those questions? Even if it is a joke, how does that make anything better? It’s the sort of thing that boggles the mind – on what planet does this weird plan even remotely resemble a good idea?

Think about it, man – the cops came to your house. Multiple people saw this thing and were legitimately convinced that you had gone crazy. You just spent all this time trying to convince a court that you deserved to share custody of your child, only to now basically create something that presents you as a dangerous lunatic bent on vengeance.

And not for nothing, but shame on you, Michael Blackson. It’s bad enough that you took advantage of this guy’s troubles in order to generate some fleeting internet attention; now you’re going to further contribute to making him look like an insane person on top of that? How thirsty are you, man? Obviously, we don’t know whose idea this whole thing was, but if we had to guess, we’d probably pick the guy who has already exploited the situation for a little spotlight shine.

Not that it matters whose idea it was, because it takes two to stage a fake kidnapping. Regardless of who came up with the plan, the one thing that everyone can agree on is that the plan was terrible. We’re not sure who the intended audience is for something like this or what these guys could possibly have hoped to accomplish with it. It doesn’t paint either of these guys in a particularly flattering light.

Again – if this were a real thing, we wouldn’t be addressing it in this space. But since it isn’t, we can feel free to talk about how completely and utterly stupid it is. We have no idea what the endgame is here, but we feel safe in saying that it almost certainly won’t be worth it. 


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