Lil’ Wayne’s Public Relations Disaster–Dissecting a Celebrity PR Case

Black & White photograph of Lil Wayne taken by...

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My attention was recently called to a post on regarding statements made by “the best rapper alive,” none other than Lil’ Wayne. According to the post, Wayne and his associates, Young Money Entertainment, were accused of openly disrespecting several women at a video shoot because of their skin complexions, which happened to be dark-skinned.
When asked by one of the ladies why he had such negative perceptions of brown women when his own daughter happened to be brown, he allegedly stated that “My daughter is a dark-skinned millionaire and that’s the difference between her and you.”
According to a recent tweet on the same blog, Lil Wayne was quoted as saying: “Y’all know I didn’t say that…” The reality is that we don’t know he didn’t say it. His past videos, lyrics and actions actually make it not that hard to believe.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is why it is imperative to establish a positive relationship with the public before a situation like this transpires. I am often asked by artists why public relations is so important, and this is exactly why.
If Wayne and Young Money truly want to convince their fans that they are, in fact, “colorblind,” it’s going to take a lot more than a tweet.
Where is the staff publicist?
Now is the time for a savvy public relations professional to take control of this “rumor” that is spiraling out of control. A formal statement sent directly to could help to alleviate the ramifications of this bad publicity. This website first broke the story, so blogs that have linked to their story will refer to this site for updates and statements from Wayne, if any.
And perhaps an official video with Wayne discussing the rumor and substantiating why it’s not true, is also in order.
There are a number of strategies that a PR professional can take to rectify this situation. But the takeaway from this lesson is to ensure that your image stays on positive footing with the public, so that when situations like this one arise, your “social capital” is strong enough that your image will not take a hit.

About Publicity Stunt, Inc

Founded in 2007, Publicity Stunt, Inc is headquartered in Chicago, where we work with a variety of local and national clients. We specifically cater to the unique needs of aspiring and established fashion designers, boutique owners, musicians, authors, athletes and other non-traditional professionals. Our communications studio offers a variety of services, including publicity and marketing campaign development, “swag bag” fulfillment, media outreach, creation of sponsorship proposals and more. Additionally, our extensive network consists of photographers, graphic designers and more who we are able to contract to further support the needs of our clients. Combining public relations, marketing, social media and image management, Publicity Stunt, Inc approaches each project holistically to maximize results for our clients. We strive for perfection in helping our clients to develop relationships with members of the media, the general public and industry influencers. View all posts by Publicity Stunt, Inc

4 responses to “Lil’ Wayne’s Public Relations Disaster–Dissecting a Celebrity PR Case

  • Reynonda

    Great blog! Great advice for cleaning up the mess as well. Maybe he should consider hiring publicity stunt!

    • Publicity Stunt, Inc

      Thanks and agreed! So many people underestimate the power of a good publicist. In some regards, I can’t blame them, as there are many individuals false flagging as public relations professionals. The profession includes more than just writing press releases!

  • Shelly

    I WAS a die hard fan however the lack of concern in his response has led me to become an EX fan. Your account of his PR teams failure to control or diffuse the allegations are dead on. He really should have put forth more effort considering brown women make up a great portion of his fan base.

    • Publicity Stunt, Inc

      Exactly, concern for his image seems to be minimal. I think people get to a point where they don’t care anymore once they reach a certain financial status. However, the same people that bought their records and catapulted them to the top, can stop at any moment. Today’s consumer is powerful, especially with things like Twitter, Facebook, etc.

      Just because you ignore something doesn’t mean it will go away.
      BUSINESSOWNERS and BRANDS, please keep that key piece of advice in mind!

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