This weekend, American entertainment magazine Variety sent off a Twitter trolling frenzy when users reacted to the magazine’s headline which commented that Elvis had “invented rock ‘n’ roll 60 years ago”.
The headline was tweeted out by the magazine and linked to a story about the 60th anniversary of Elvis’ recording sessions for the newly launched Sun Records label in Memphis. The tweet was not received well by many Twitter users who were angered by Variety‘s whitewashed language.
Many were angered with the publication who seemingly ignored the wealth of rock music pioneered by black musicians well before Elvis and his hips hit the scene, something that even Elvis himself acknowledged.
Which is why in its own glorious fashion, Twitter responded by launching the hashtag #VarietyHeadlines, which satirised the many other things that white people definitely “invented”. Such gems include, “‘I can twerk’ Miley Cyrus talks battling prejudice and racism in the music industry,” and “Eminem: The first person to ever make it out of the hood.”
Variety has since changed the headline and issued an explanation. “The word “invented” in the original headline has stirred an angry response from some readers who argue that it diminishes the contributions of many African-American musicians,” it reads.
“Crediting a single ‘inventor’ of rock ‘n’ roll is as hard as determining who invented television or the automobile, and the headline on this story was not meant to indicate an absolute in this regard,” it continues. “In deference to the concerns raised by readers we have adjusted the headline to better reflect the nuance of the story.”
Still, the Twitter irony Olympics rages on. Check out some of the top comments below.
— Variety (@Variety) July 4, 2014
Iggy Azalea: Taking Rap Back To Its Roots As Rap Creator Blondie Intended. #VarietyHeadlines
— Only4RM (@Only4RM) July 6, 2014
#VarietyHeadlines Nina Simone Issues Apology to Lana del Rey for Stealing Her Sound and Style
— dgls.pl (@dglspl) July 5, 2014
"I can twerk" Miley Cyrus talks battling prejudice and racism in the music industry #VarietyHeadlines
— jordan (@femmeminem) July 5, 2014
— Terrell J. Starr (@Russian_Starr) July 5, 2014
How Coldplay created the Wall Of Sound #VarietyHeadlines
— Syd (@Blackamazon) July 5, 2014
How White People Invented The Sun To Make Life Sustainable On Their Other Invention, Earth #VarietyHeadlines
— TheQuadrity (@TheQuadrity) July 5, 2014
"How 'Friends' Paved The Way For 'The Cosby Show'"#VarietyHeadlines
— Clothes ain't loyal (@Unwan7ed) July 4, 2014
Justin Beiber: The King of Motown #VarietyHeadlines
— Lana del Gæ (@Taniyahpls) July 4, 2014
"Robin Thicke and The Creation of the Confessional R&B Album" #VarietyHeadlines
— Dash The Destroyer (@ReverendDrDash) July 4, 2014
#VarietyHeadlines What Lady Gaga Taught Grace Jones about Avant-Garde
— Morgan Jerkins (@MorganTheScribe) July 5, 2014
Eminem: The first person to ever make it out of the hood. #VarietyHeadlines
— Snark Kent (@jjohnson9109) July 5, 2014