The Clapback

Editor's Note: This story was originally published in Digital Issue V

Did someone say something you don’t agree with? Clapback. Insult you or a friend? Clapback. Took something somewhere they shouldn’t have taken it? CLAPBACK. Clapbacks happen daily, but celebrity clapbacks provide a unique glimpse into the climate of pop culture. Sometimes celebrities go on the offensive and start a Twitter fight. Other times, they respond to criticism from an irrelevant hater. Whether Kim Kardashian calls out slut-shaming or Kanye West subtweets a screwed up system, celebrities are not afraid to use social media when someone steps out of line. The BUZZ staff compiled their favorite celebrity clapbacks of 2016.


Zoya Zia: Watch it Bern, Over a HIll

As a mere spectator to riveting celebrity clashes, I spend my time sipping tea and living vicariously through others. In my humble, politically-passionate opinion, the best celebrity clapbacks of 2016 came from Senator Bernie Sanders and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Sanders carefully constructed his clapbacks. Occasionally, he would subtly reference his opponents without directly mentioning them. On his bravest days, he dared to “@” Clinton and show off some receipts.    

Meanwhile, Clinton amusingly reacted to the GOP debates. Clinton even uses gifs of Saturday Night Live’s Kate McKinnon’s impersonations of her to respond. It’s interesting to see how the political arena has changed thanks to social media and the instant clapback.


Jacqueline Martinez: Cher Shares An Opinion

Republican candidate Donald Trump has no filter. In multiple instances, he has wholeheartedly expressed his misogynistic views. Just scrolling through his tweets, one can find examples where he has called women derogatory things including  “slobs,” and “disgusting animals.” Once, he said that Megyn Kelly had “blood coming out of her wherever” after she confronted him on his language. With the world watching, singer and actress Cher decided to do the world a service and clapback. Cher mocked Donald Trump for his childish behavior and called him a “prima donna.” Cher started off a year of clapbacks with a bang as she put Donald Trump in his place by calling out his behavior.


Angela Bonilla: Kim Kardashian-West

Kim Kardashian-West is not one to shy from posting risque photos on Instagram, so it wasn’t a surprise when she posted a nude photo on Twitter. This caused a social media uproar. Many people used twitter to respond to the photo, including actress Chloe Moretz, who said Kim should become a better role model for young girls. Singer Bette Midler also tweeted about Kardashian, referencing how we all have seen her nude figure. Kim responded with a clapback we didn’t see coming. She called both ladies out and addressed the issue of slut-shaming. After years in the spotlight, Kim has learned to be swift when responding to haters.


Xyclali Nuñez: Wild, Wild West

Something always goes down when Kanye West enters the Twitter ring. Kanye rants on Twitter about anything and everything, but especially in defense of his title as one of the greatest hip-hop artists living or dead. One of Kanye’s most memorable clapbacks happened when Wiz Khalifa tweeted his negative opinion about Kanye’s album name. In an elaborate clapback, Kanye listed 17 reasons why Wiz should not have called him out. Kanye took it one step further and began listing reasons why Wiz shouldn’t comment on his music in general. He didn’t  forget to mention Wiz Khalifa's physical appearance, his relationship with Amber Rose and their son. Kanye’s clapback was a win/lose situation. Artists might be afraid to come at Kanye, but they’s probably even more afraid to come at Amber Rose after she clappedback at Kanye’s clapback, calling him a...well just look at the tweet yourself.


Rochelle Friedewald: J.K. Rowling

Our favorite childhood author is the reigning Twitter queen of clapback. Most recently, Rowling took on Katrina Pierson, a controversial spokesperson for Donald Trump, with an effortless and hilarious Harry Potter reference. During the 2012 presidential election race, Pierson raised irrelevant questions about the nationality of both Romney and Obama’s parents, hoping to spark xenophobic backlash and a call for “more American” candidates. Her ignorant tweet from 2012 resurfaced during this election cycle due to her affiliation with Trump, and was met with criticism. Pierson used the phrase “pure breeds,” similar to Rowling’s fictional term “pure bloods,” which describes Harry Potter characters who thought their magical talents were greater than those who didn’t come from an entirely wizarding family. Rowling decided to clapback to the xenophobia with this witty Harry Potter comparison.

This isn’t the first time the renowned author has employed a Harry Potter reference to show her distaste for Trump and his entire presidential campaign. When BBC Newsbeat compared the businessman to the most evil wizard in the magical world, Rowling chimed in, saying that Trump’s intolerance is much worse than the antics of the Dark Lord.


Natalie Heineman: Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande’s response to Justin Bieber is the perfect response to unwanted attention. In January, the pop star tweeted, “not today Satan,” with six exclamation points. Rumors swirled that Ariana had indirectly replied to a comment that fellow musician Justin Bieber left on an Instagram video Ariana had posted that same day. Bieber commented, “damn Ariana u look so good,” which prompted the “Focus” singer to send out an empowering tweet. Ariana is working towards a drama-free life, one clapback at a time.