Say it ain’t so: Black Ink Crew can’t tattoo? The hit VH1 show is set to debut its fourth season, but pesky allegations about the skills of its tattoo artists simply won’t die, despite BIC‘s reputation as a show that “in many ways keeps it all too real.” Indeed, it was Broken Silenze that complimented the show ahead of its Season 3 finale by writing “Black Ink Crew is one of the handful of reality shows that actually doesn’t need to be scripted or staged.” And the title alone of Damon Young’s article on the show at Very Smart Brothas–which is probably still the definitive piece of writing about Black Ink Crew–says it all: “Six Reasons Why Black Ink Crew Is The Realest Reality Show Ever.”
So where does the claim come from? About a year ago, the “Black Ink Crew can’t tattoo” allegations began when a woman named Asabi Barner sued the Black Ink studio for what she said was “recklessness, careless, and negligence.” Barner went to Black Ink to completely redesign a chest tattoo she’d gotten at age 18, and was initially excited about the “massive chest art” she had done. However, after her breasts started to ooze pus and the tattoo resulted in keloid scars and “burn[ed] and itch[ed] on a daily basis,” Barner filed suit against Ceaser and crew.
Shortly after that lawsuit, a second woman came forward with similar claims: Loni Tate alleged that her tattoo, a huge floral design on her forearm, became infected thanks to an unexpected interruption in the session. When Tate returned to have the tattoo finished, the gun was already sitting out waiting, whereas, previously, “she had always watched as [the artist] opened the new needle in front of her.” (You can check out an image of Tate’s infection here–it’s safe for work, but not necessarily for the squeamish.)
Cesear was none too pleased by the dual lawsuits, and took to social media to blast the women for “wait[ing] until the 3rd season finale” to come forward in what he suggested was a money grab. Here’s his full response to the “Black Ink Crew can’t tattoo” claims, courtesy of VladTV:
Why do people always talk about some negative sh*t and the positive stuff get push under the rug….My business has been in Harlem over 5 years and never had hear anything but good about my business.And soon we get on TV,the bullsh*t starts.False allegations and [slander] are being put out on the media by people basically looking for quick money schemes. But nobody is covering or care that the facts are all of the allegations are FALSE.. Don’t [you] find it funny that both these tatto are over a year ago. And they wait until the 3rd season finale to sue somebody…the funny sh*t is media is going to try to make it look like bullsh*t but is not going to tell the first suit was bullsh*t and got tossed out, this second one is beyond bullsh*t.who the f*ck gets sued back to back and lost nothing but lawyer money.some people will try to ruin you for a fast buck…when they see you on your way to success,they try to bring you down #crabsinabucket
Well–we sure know where Ceaser stands! It’s also worth pointing out that Black Ink’s Yelp reviews, all of which were written by people who know full well about the success of the show, are for the most part favorable. The handful of negative ones almost all stem from some sort of misunderstanding about how late the shop would stay open, or a verbal spat with a member of the staff–not from displeasure with the artwork itself.
In any case, the “realest reality show ever” will very soon be back for your viewing pleasure. Black Ink Crew Season 4 debuts tonight at 9 PM EST on VH1.
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(Photo credits: Black Ink Crew can’t tattoo via VH1)