In a Nutshell:
- Former teachers allege wrongful termination and describe troubling conditions at Donda Academy, a private Christian school owned by rapper Kanye West (known as Ye), including serving only sushi for lunch, locked doors, lack of utensils, sitting on the floor during lunch, and alleged absence of cleaning services and school nurses.
- Ye’s alleged rules at Donda Academy included a ban on stairs (all classes were on the first floor), no crossword puzzles, no jewelry, no color or artwork on the walls, and students required to wear all black apparel issued or designed by Ye, with Nike and Adidas being forbidden.
- The plaintiffs, who are Black, also claim racial discrimination by West and assert that they were fired in retaliation for reporting code violations at the school, which abruptly closed down in October 2022 following antisemitic remarks made by Ye. Representatives for West have not commented on the allegations.
In a surprising turn of events, rapper-turned-entrepreneur Kanye West, also known as Ye, is facing allegations of running a private Christian school with a series of peculiar rules that have left former teachers scratching their heads and filing a lawsuit.
The now-shuttered Donda Academy, located in Simi Valley, California, was accused of wrongful termination, code violations, and racial discrimination by former teachers Cecilia Hailey and Chekarey Byers.
According to the civil complaint filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, life inside Donda Academy was anything but ordinary.
The allegations paint a troubling picture of a school where doors were locked from the outside, lunches consisted solely of sushi with no utensils allowed, and students were forced to sit on the floor during lunch. Cleaning services and school nurses were reportedly nonexistent, and medications on campus were either unsecured or had expired.
But perhaps the most baffling rule of all was that all classes were held on the first floor because Ye was “afraid of stairs.” Yes, you read that right – the famous rapper was allegedly spooked by stairs.
“I’m extremely sad about all of this,” said Byers, one of the plaintiffs. “It was such a huge honor and privilege to work at Donda Academy for Kanye West. I’m a huge Kanye fan. His first album was the first I ever purchased. I still enjoy his music, and I’ll never deny his talent, but while his vision for the school sounds great on paper, it’s just pure chaos and mutiny. It’s like a mental hospital being run by the patients.”
In addition to the bizarre rules, Ye’s school also had strict dress codes. Students were required to wear all black and dress only in apparel issued or designed by Ye himself, with Nike and Adidas being strictly “forbidden,” according to the complaint. No crossword puzzles, jewelry, or color or artwork on the walls were allowed, and lunch and recess were held indoors at the same time.
Donda Academy abruptly closed down in October amidst fallout from antisemitic remarks made by Ye, and the plaintiffs claim they were fired in retaliation for reporting code violations. Their lawsuit also alleges racial discrimination by West, who is known for his unusual behavior.
“Kanye West is clearly as bad at running a school as he is at managing his own personal and professional life, enabling an unsafe and illegal school environment for students that also discriminated against the plaintiffs based on their race,” said Ron Zambrano, the plaintiffs’ attorney.
“These egregious violations at Donda Academy are just another example of West’s unusual behavior, and our clients just won’t stand for it, no matter his celebrity status. Kanye needs to realize his genius is in creating music, not in school administration.”
Representatives for Ye could not be reached for comment at the time of writing, leaving many scratching their heads at the bizarre world of Donda Academy and its enigmatic founder.
From fear of stairs to sushi-only lunches, it seems Ye’s foray into the world of education has been anything but ordinary. One thing’s for sure – this is one school that won’t be making the grade in the Quirky School of the Year Awards.
Conor McGregor Accidentally KO’s Miami Heat Mascot in Skit Gone Wrong [Video]
In a Nutshell:
- Ex-UFC champion Conor McGregor participated in an unexpected boxing stunt with Miami Heat’s mascot, Burnie, during a promotional event in the middle of an NBA Finals game.
- McGregor knocked down Burnie with a left hook, leading to the mascot requiring medical attention and pain medication. The identity of the man inside the mascot suit has not been revealed.
- McGregor was at the game to promote a pain-relief spray, and his antic of punching the mascot and then attempting to ‘heal’ him with the spray drew boos from the crowd.
The arena buzzed with excitement during the third-quarter stoppage of Game 4 of the NBA Finals, but not for the usual reasons.
It wasn’t a slam dunk, a three-pointer, or even a dramatic foul that had the crowd gasping – it was the sight of ex-UFC champion Conor McGregor, landing a left hook on Burnie, the Miami Heat’s lovable mascot.
The flame-faced mascot found himself in an unexpected ring match during a promotional skit that took a wrong turn.
Burnie, donned in oversized boxing gloves and a robe reminiscent of a fighter’s pre-match ensemble, received a one-two combo from McGregor that would make an experienced UFC fighter grimace.
After McGregor landed a left hook that knocked Burnie to the floor, he delivered another punch for good measure.
It’s the kind of dramatic scene you’d expect in a UFC octagon, but not the hardwood court of an NBA game.
The crowd response was a medley of boos and gasps even before the bizarre bit started.
McGregor, who was at the game to promote a pain-relief spray, had already piqued the crowd’s ire before his ill-advised spar with the mascot.
Once the mascot was down, McGregor attempted to ‘heal’ the damage done by spraying the pain-relief product on Burnie.
Meanwhile, members of the Heat’s in-game promotional team had the unexpected task of dragging the battered Burnie off the court.
The man inside Burnie’s costume, whose identity was not revealed, had to seek medical attention following the unexpected showdown.
The Heat confirmed on Saturday that he was recuperating at home, aided by pain medication.
As for McGregor, this stunt marks another bizarre event in a rather quiet period of his career.
He hasn’t stepped into the octagon since injuring his left leg during a match against Dustin Poirier at UFC 264 in July 2021.
His last victory dates back to January 2020.
Whether this outlandish display was a call for attention or just an ill-conceived gimmick, one thing’s for sure: Burnie might think twice before squaring up with another fighter.
Pigeon Interrupts Live TV Broadcast [Video]
In a Nutshell:
- Florida-based meteorologist Chelsea Ambriz was startled during a live TV broadcast when a pigeon unexpectedly swooped into view of a live beach camera, causing her to let out a shout of surprise on air.
- The amusing moment, which saw Ambriz maintain her composure and continue with the newscast, was shared on Twitter and has received over 109,000 views, prompting humorous interactions and comments from viewers.
- Despite being initially thought of as a mere on-air blooper, the pigeon surprise evolved into a relatable and entertaining viral moment, as it showcased the unpredictable nature of live broadcasts.
We’ve all heard of the weather going to the birds, but one Florida meteorologist took it quite literally.
NBC6’s Chelsea Ambriz found herself in an unexpected flap with a pigeon during a live TV broadcast, prompting a flurry of chuckles on social media.
While setting the scene with images of a serene beach from a live feed, Ambriz was suddenly ambushed.
Not by thunderstorms or gusty winds, but by an attention-seeking pigeon who appeared to have Hollywood aspirations.
The bird zoomed into the live beach camera, startling the meteorologist and leading to a hilarious shout of surprise.
“The bird startled me,” she admitted, quickly finding her composure to carry on with the newscast.
As it turned out, Ambriz was safely in the studio, far from the feathered friend causing her consternation.
It was a case of perspective.
“From my vantage point, I thought it was going to land on my head,” Ambriz explained to NBC6.
Her initial reaction was to duck and cover, an instinct we can all relate to.
However, professionalism won out as she kept her cool and continued the broadcast.
In her Twitter post sharing the funny clip, which has now amassed over 109,000 views, Ambriz noted her brain’s rapid-fire response:
“Brain: bird is going to land on you! Reality: I’m in the studio and this is a live camera…”
Twitter users got their feathers ruffled, humorously responding to the unexpected bird-venture.
“Is that your first ‘close encounter’?” asked one Twitter user, to which Ambriz admitted having had run-ins with pigeons at the beach.
Another keen observer noted, “Looked dead into the camera too, knew EXACTLY what he was doin’ smh.”
Indeed, it seemed the pigeon was fully aware of its moment of fame, and perhaps it was planning this cameo all along.
A clear case of a bird with an eye for opportunity, we’d say.
Despite the unexpected surprise, Ambriz held her own.
“You maintained your composure!” commended one Twitter user, while another playfully warned, “Ca caw!! Look out girl…the birds never rest.”
Reflecting on the unexpected social media flutter, Ambriz said, “People are chuckling along with me.”
“I definitely did not think it was going to explode like it has. The retweets and the interaction on Twitter have been fun to see.”
In the end, what was initially thought to be a momentary blooper turned into a viral moment that “everyone can relate to and chuckle with.”
Because, after all, isn’t live TV a bird of a feather that always keeps us guessing and occasionally lets us have a laugh?
Student Eats $120,000 Banana Artwork Because “He Was Hungry”
In a Nutshell:
- A student at Seoul National University in South Korea ate Maurizio Cattelan’s famous “Comedian” artwork — a banana duct-taped to a wall — claiming he did so because he was hungry.
- The student taped the banana peel back onto the wall, with the museum later replacing it with a fresh banana.
- This is not the first time the piece, sold for $120,000 in 2019, has been eaten; performance artist David Datuna did the same in 2019, calling it an “art performance.”
After three long years, the notorious banana duct-taped to a wall, a piece by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan and sold for $120,000, has met another unexpected fate.
This time, a student at Seoul National University decided the iconic work titled “Comedian” would make an enticing snack.
In an act of either brazen hunger or daring performance art, the student removed the fruit from its display at the Leeum Museum of Art in Seoul, South Korea, and ate it.
“The student told the museum he ate it because he was hungry,” a museum spokesperson disclosed during a phone call with CNN.
Following his unusual meal, the student taped the peel back on to the wall, only for the museum to replace it with a fresh banana later.
Cattelan’s work has repeatedly challenged popular culture and spurred debates around conceptual art.
“Comedian” famously sold for $120,000 at Art Basel Miami Beach in December 2019.
Two other editions of the piece were also purchased at the fair, sparking both astonishment and amusement in the art world.
This isn’t the first time the artwork has been deemed ripe for consumption.
Following the initial sale of “Comedian” in 2019, performance artist David Datuna also plucked and ate the banana on display at the Perrotin gallery at Art Basel in Miami.
Datuna subsequently deemed the act as an art performance, posting on Instagram: “I really love this installation. It’s very delicious.”
The museum was somewhat nonplussed by the student’s actions.
“It happened suddenly, so no special action was taken. The artist (Cattelan) was informed of the incident but he didn’t have any reaction to it,” the museum spokesperson added.
This lack of action could be due to the fact that the banana in the artwork is regularly swapped out every two to three days.
Meanwhile, the “Comedian” continues to be embroiled in a copyright battle.
Joe Morford, a California-based artist, alleged in 2022 that Cattelan plagiarized his own 2000 artwork titled “Banana & Orange”.
Cattelan’s lawyers, however, have countered that Morford has “no valid copyright,” to the elements of the artwork — the banana and the duct tape against a wall.
Cattelan’s other headline-grabbing piece, an 18-carat-gold toilet named “America” valued at around $6 million, was stolen from the birthplace of Winston Churchill at Bleinheim Palace in England in 2019.
To date, it has not been recovered.
As the art world watches and waits for the next chapter in the “Comedian” saga, one thing is certain: Maurizio Cattelan’s banana duct-taped to a wall continues to be, in one way or another, a delicious subject of debate.
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