What the entertainment industry can learn from the FN Meka debacle – Protocol

by | Aug 25, 2022 | Entertainment

Hello, and welcome to Protocol Entertainment, your guide to the business of the gaming and media industries. This Thursday, we explore what went wrong with Capitol Records’ first AI rapper, and how “House of the Dragon” fared with viewers. Also: Zuckerberg gets a makeover.

The problem with virtual pop stars

Talk about 15 minutes of fame: Earlier this month, Capitol Records signed its first virtual being as an artist. FN Meka was hailed as a virtual rap star, who had amassed more than 10 million followers on TikTok.FN Meka also had a history of using the N-Word in lyrics, and the character has been portrayed as a victim of police brutality. Activists were not amused and called for Capitol Records to terminate the partnership.“We find fault in the lack of awareness in how offensive this caricature is,” wrote entertainment industry activist group Industry Blackout on Twitter. “It is a direct insult to the Black community and our culture.”Industry Blackout took issue with what it called “an amalgamation of gross stereotypes” and “appropriative mannerisms.”Capitol Records responded swiftly, dropping FN Meka just hours later.“We offer our deepest apologies for our insensitivity in signing this project,” the label said in a public statement.FN Meka is the creation of Factory New. The company bills itself as a virtual record label, and it defended the CGI rapper following the uproar.Company founder Anthony Martini told The New York Times that the whole controversy was due to “ …

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