Rihanna’s 2019 Diamond Ball will honor Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley and writer and civil rights activist Shaun King, and some people aren’t too pleased with King being celebrated.
“I can’t imagine a better night than this year’s Clara Lionel Foundation event with Seth Meyers, Pharrell and DJ Khaled,” said Rihanna per Variety.
“I am particularly honored to present Prime Minister Mottley and Shaun King with this year’s Diamond Ball Awards for their groundbreaking work. We are so thankful to them for joining us and making the night better than ever.”
Many took to Twitter to share their thoughts on why they felt King didn’t deserve to be honored and some even criticized Rihanna.
One writer, David Dennis Jr., even went as far as to write an open letter via News One on why Rihanna should reconsider honoring Shaun King at her Diamond Ball.
“The ‘this’ in question is the announcement that the Diamond Ball would be honoring Shaun King with its Diamond Ball award. Rihanna. I don’t know if this is a personal choice by you or something someone on your staff picked but it’s straight-up disheartening,” Dennis Jr. wrote.
“Shaun King is a scam artist of the highest degree and the fact that he’s finagled his way to your presence and may even be in the same photo as you very soon is a testament to that legendary gift of grift. But please understand this: Shaun King is a net negative to the Black community and especially Black women, for whom you’ve worked so hard to advocate.”
In his open letter, Dennis Jr. also claimed that King has “jumped from failed project to aborted initiative leaving a trail of Black women who have claimed that he has stolen ideas and at-best mismanaged affairs from top to bottom.”