Drake Needs to be Held Accountable for 2010 Footage

Celebrities have always lived according to their own rules, often ignoring societal standards. This can range from having their children wear lipstick to older men dating twenty-somethings. Recently, 2010 footage of Drake fondling and kissing an underage concert attendee surfaced, which you can view on YouTube. Since there is clearly a pattern for the rapper of controversies with underage women, why isn’t there more being done about it?

 


Video courtesy of Andy N.

 

In the video, Drake is seen dancing with the woman on stage at his concert. He continuously compliments her appearance. “Is this Herbal Essences?” he asks, sniffing her hair. As the video continues, he tugs at her shirt and kisses her neck. In response, the crowd cheers and yells. When he asks for her age, she says that she is seventeen, which he follows up with a comment about not wanting to go to jail and questioning why she looks so “thick” for her age. He then has her exit the stage after saying, “I had fun” and kissing her.

From the #MeToo movement and allegations against Harvey Weinstein, to R. Kelly’s many lewd and abusive deeds being brought to light, celebrities have been targeted more viciously for unwanted sexual acts towards women in recent months. However, it seems like only a portion of Hollywood is experiencing this reckoning.

Drake’s questionable acts surfaced in early January. There has been no legal action and Drake has yet to comment. While the age of consent in Colorado is 17, with Drake’s comment of him going to jail, it’s clear he did know the legality of his actions. Drake just kissed and sexualized a young girl and simply thought it was okay. It’s appalling that the general public has little to no comment on the matter and that it has already been forgotten.

A Google news search for Drake mostly contains articles about a possible diss track towards him from The Weeknd. Another popular article topic is about the Minnesota Timberwolves basketball team, asking him not to wear too much memorabilia. A general search reveals few articles or stories detailing Drake’s lewd actions towards a minor. So far, the video clearly has not affected Drake’s reputation.

Very few seem to care about Drake’s inappropriate behavior. This isn’t some honest mistake or a random occurrence that he apologized for. Last year, a variety of Drake’s scandals involved an underage girl, from his inappropriate relationship with Millie Bobby Brown to allegations that he dated a 17-year-old.

Clearly his actions were wrong, especially when it is speculated that she said her age to discourage him. Even after she revealed her age, he continued to comment on her appearance and to fondle her. There could be two reasons why no one seems to be more upset about this. First, the timing could be off. With the release of “Surviving R Kelly,” social media has been dominated with memes, comments, rants, and complaints about his actions. This might have minimized Drake’s actions and may have made them seem more okay, that they aren’t as bad as R. Kelly’s. Second, many people love Drake. He is an extremely popular and recognizable artist who went on a good Samaritan trip with the release of his music video “God’s Plan.” However, was it God’s Plan for him to sexualize underage girls?

We should hold celebrities to a higher standard since they are considered role models for the younger generation. If a young boy continues to see Drake sexualizing young girls, he’ll start to believe that sexualizing and disrespecting women and minors is acceptable. The public needs to condemn the pedophilic actions of celebrities, no matter how large their bank account is or how many awards they’ve won.

Frank Peña is a third-year Journalism and Informatics major. He can be reached at fpenaaya@uci.edu.