Amid growing backlash — including from the president of CBS News and a former Obama national security adviser — entertainer Snoop Dogg insisted Sunday that he “didn’t threaten” CBS News anchor Gayle King in a viral, profanity-laced rant last week responding to King’s questions about a past sexual assault allegation against the late-Kobe Bryant.
“I’m a non-violent person,” the rapper said in an Instagram video post Saturday, as reported by Urban Hollywood. “When I said what I said, I spoke for the people who felt like Gayle was very disrespectful towards Kobe Bryant and his family. Now with that being said, what do I look like wanting some harm to come to a 70-year-old woman? I was raised way better than that.”
“I didn’t threaten her,” Snoop Dogg insisted. “All I did was said, ‘Check it out. You’re out of pocket for what you’re doing and we’re watching you.’ We’re very non-violent. We just want to say that first and foremost, we speak from the heart. Some of you who have no heart don’t understand that.”
In his response to King’s interview questions to former WNBA star Lisa Leslie Tuesday about the 2003 Bryant allegation (video below), Snoop Dogg warned King that she better “respect a family and back off, b*tch, before we come get you.”
“We expect more from you, Gayle,” he declared. “Don’t you hang out with Oprah? Why y’all attacking us? We your people. You ain’t coming after f***in’ Harvey Weinstein asking them dumba** questions. I get sick of y’all. I want to call you one. Is it OK if I call her one? Funky dog-head b*tch! How dare you try to torch my f***in homeboy’s reputation. Punk mother f***er! Respect a family and back off, b*tch, before we come get you.”
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
Before going on air Wednesday, King posted a video lamenting the clip of the Leslie interview and slammed her own network for releasing the excerpt of the interview without her knowledge and “totally taken out of context.”
“I’ve been up reading the comments about the interview I did with Lisa Leslie about Kobe Bryant, and I know that if I had only seen the clip that you saw, I’d be extremely angry with me too,” Gayle said in a video posted on Instagram. “I am mortified. I am embarrassed and I am very angry. Unbeknownst to me, my network put up a clip from a very wide-ranging interview — totally taken out of context — and when you see it that way, it’s very jarring. It’s jarring to me. I didn’t even know anything about it.”
Amid reports that she was receiving threats and was not handling the fallout well, CBS News President Susan Zirinsky condemned the “reprehensible” threats leveled at King.
“We fully support Gayle King and her integrity as a journalist,” Zirinsky told The Associated Press on Saturday. “We find the threats against her or any journalist doing their job reprehensible.”
Among many others, Snoop Dogg’s rant earned the rebuke of former Obama national security adviser Susan Rice, who tweeted in response: “This is despicable. Gayle King is one of the most principled, fair and tough journalists alive. Snoop, back the **** off. You come for [Gayle King], you come against an army. You will lose, and it won’t be pretty.”
This is despicable. Gayle King is one of the most principled, fair and tough journalists alive. Snoop, back the **** off. You come for @GayleKing, you come against an army. You will lose, and it won’t be pretty. https://t.co/nUxcYCLS62
— Susan Rice (@AmbassadorRice) February 8, 2020
The clip of King’s interview with Leslie that started the controversy was posted by CBS Tuesday. In the clip (below), King asks Leslie if she feels that Bryant’s legacy is “complicated” by the sexual assault allegation brought against him in 2003 — an allegation he denied and a case that was ultimately dismissed after the 19-year-old accuser refused to testify.
“It’s been said that his legacy is complicated because of a sexual assault charge, which was dismissed in 2003, 2004. Is it complicated for you, as a woman, as a WNBA player?” King asked.
“It’s not complicated for me at all,” Leslie replied. “Even if there’s a few times that we’ve been at a club at the same time, Kobe’s not the kind of guy, never been, like, ‘Lis, go get that girl, or tell her, or send her this.’ I have other NBA friends that are like that. Kobe, he was never like that. I just never … have ever seen him being the kind of person that would … do something to violate a woman or be aggressive in that way. That’s just not the person that I know.”
“But, Lisa, you wouldn’t see it, though,” King countered. “As his friend, you wouldn’t see it.”
“And that’s possible,” Leslie acknowledged, but added: “I just don’t believe that, and I’m not saying things didn’t happen. I just don’t believe that things didn’t happen [sic] with force.”
“Is it even a fair question to talk about it considering he’s no longer with us, and that it was resolved, or is it really part of his history?” asked King.
“I think that the media should be more respectful at this time,” said Leslie. “It’s like, if you had questions about it, you’ve had many years to ask him that. I don’t think it’s something that we should keep hanging over his legacy.”
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) February 4, 2020