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Slim Shady Gets Sued

Eminem has been issued a sex discrimination lawsuit from workers at a Reno, California warehouse who had listened to his music during their work hours

Eminem, other than being recognized as one of the most influential rappers in a generation, is also well-known for being rather explicit with his lyrics. Recently, however, some have made their distaste of the Missouri rapper's music quite clear through issuing a sex discrimination lawsuit against their company for his music.


According to the San Francisco Chronicle, several former warehouse employees of S&S Activewear filed a sex discrimination lawsuit against their company due to co-workers loudly playing rap music that would use harsh language towards women.


The suit had initially been dropped by Chief U.S. District Judge Miranda Du before being picked up and reinstated by Judge M. Margaret McKeown of San Francisco's Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, who claimed that " An employer’s status as a purported ‘equal opportunity harasser’ provides no escape hatch for liability."


According to the suit, S&S would allow commercial-grade speakers to blast rap music at five of the company's locations so loudly that it could drown out the background noise of all else at the warehouses; however, the music that would be played was that of rap, with Eminem's hit song "Stan" being one of the pieces mentioned in the suit. "Stan", while a song, is also a story of an Eminem-obsessed fan who leaves a pregnant woman trapped and drowning in the truck of a car.

According to Judge McKeown's statement on the suit, "Sometimes employees placed the speakers on forklifts and drove around the warehouse, making it more difficult to predict — let alone evade — the music’s reach...In turn, the music allegedly served as a catalyst for abusive conduct by male employees, who frequently pantomimed sexually graphic gestures, yelled obscenities, made sexually explicit remarks, and openly shared pornographic videos."


Eminem has yet to offer a response to the suit, nor has any other prominent rappers issued their own thoughts as of late.


Depending on it's outcome, perhaps we may all be in for another public discussion regarding the use of derogatory-language in the lyrics of rap music. Some would likely argue that the words used is simply a part of a rapper's artistic-expression, while others may claim that such a reasoning does not dismiss the harm that such language can have on the minds of impressionable listeners, perhaps especially children.


The conversation regarding vulgarity and violence in rap music is nothing new, as talk about its effects on people go back several decades. Whether or not this case will send any ripple-effects to the industy is unclear, but the outcome of the suit is nonetheless worth paying attention to.

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