Famous folks

Free Isn’t Enough: In Defense of the Rihanna Plane Journalists

I’m really surprised at the reaction folks are having over this whole Rihanna #777Tour plane debacle. The plane, carrying 150 people (mostly journalists and some fans) descended to madness in the last couple of days of the tour. The people on it were really disappointed with how the trip went. Plus, they barely got a chance to sleep, bathe and eat. One night, their dinner was bananas and donuts. Yes. BANANAS AND DONUTS.

Rihanna Tour dinner

Yes. This is the meal of champions (-__-).

Shockingly (to me, anyway) people are calling the journalists spoiled because they complained, while the fans didn’t think it was so bad. I think that’s a foolish ruler to measure the validity of these journo’s feelings. It’s like being in a bad relationship. Sometimes, you don’t realize you were in one until you get in a good one and see the difference. And if you’ve never been in a relationship, you have no reference point. Those journalists are seasoned and the fans are the virgins. The fans might have thought it wasn’t so bad but it’s because they had nothing to compare it to.

People keep saying this was a free trip so no one has the right to complain. Yes, they got on that plane for free, BUT giving someone something for free does not excuse you from treating them with respect. Folks keep talmbout how these journos are brats because they’re not happy with a free trip around the world. Let’s talk about THAT.

1. This is not most of them’s first free trip.

b. This is their job.

iii. So what if it’s free? Free isn’t enough.

If I fly you to Chicago to do some work for ME, when you get here, I should tell you “Take the CTA and figure out your own way.” And then although I said you were gonna be staying at the W Hotel,  I’m like “hope you don’t mind. You gotta lay on my couch.” And instead of the three square meals I promised you, I bring home bananas and donuts. You’d be looking at me like:

Big Ang confused gif


Yes, I got you there for free. But that FREE doesn’t mean I don’t hold up my end of the bargain and stay true to my word.

Furthermore, everyone’s insistence that folks should be grateful for getting anything for free is proof that too many people live a life of lowered expectations. Some of us get free things all the time, including free trips. We’re grateful for them but we also expect to be treated with common decency on these trips. Let me repeat. WE ARE GRATEFUL BUT… You might wanna call us spoiled, but I say we’re respected. When you expect someone to feed you and make sure you have accommodations after they tell you this is what they will provide for you, folks wanna call you a diva. NAWL.

Come on, dawg.  When giving someone something for free, sometimes you set yourself up for failure by giving them expectations that you can’t meet. And I think that was the issue here. The journalists were told they’d have more access to Rihanna. Not to kick it with her but to see her work and get some stories from her. But their conditions on the plane were terrible partly because there seemed to be a lack of organization but mostly because they expected (and were told much) different.

It’s like you asking someone out on a date and telling them to dress nice because you’re going to the Signature Room. And then you take them to McDonald’s, and say their budget is $2 for food. Will they be upset? YES. Because you told them something different. And because of that, they left their wallet at home. And had they known, they might have been more prepared and balled out on their own.

Give people the choice to make their own informed decision by being realistic about what you can do. So they can figure out their own plans of action. I BET some of the people on the #777Plane would have chosen to just figure out their own logistics if they knew how it’d be.

Let me even use my own experience as an example. Because maybe this is why I’m so touched about this topic. This past summer, I was part of a delegate of 80 young black leaders chosen to go to Equatorial Guinea for a summit. I wrote about why I was there HERE. Now, we were flown there for free on a chartered flight. YAYYYYY FREE TRIP TO AFRICA.

And then we got to EG and it was endless drama for the first 3 days. Including the part where it took three hours for us to check into the Hilton because… I don’t e’em feel like going into the reasons. We were basically treated like we didn’t matter. Our time wasn’t respected and we were often kept waiting FOR HOURS at a time. For a number of reasons. Many of us were NOT pleased about it and expressed this. But on more than one occasion, I heard the “be happy you got a free trip. Be grateful.”

Malarkey gif

It wasn’t my first free trip. And even if it was, three hours of my time wasted in ONE day is a lot. And having it happen multiple times is annoying as hell. I coulda been doing work and other things. To be made to feel like we didn’t have a right to feel some type of way made me want to fight the air. It wasn’t until we took control of our own time that we finally did something worth talking about.

I will repeat: Free is NOT enough and when you accept bad treatment, you’re positively reinforcing disrespect. Stop it and demand better from people. Someone might give you something for free, like a trip, but your time is worth money. Every hour they waste of it is money you’re losing.

So this trip on the #777Plane was NOT free. The people who were stuck on it lost valuable time they could have spent doing other things. Being on a plane with 150 other people who have barely slept, bathed or ate for 7 days does not sound remotely close to enjoyable.

AND… Necole Bitchie, who was on the flight twitpiced THIS picture of a meal they were served.  I want you to look at this and say (with a sound mind) that these people were being ungrateful. Can you even identify half of the foods on this struggle plate??

Rihanna #777Tour Struggle Plate

From instagram.com/necolebitchie

Yeah. NAWL.

The moral of this story is: free is not enough. If you accept crappy treatment because someone gave you a handout, I ask you to demand better. Stop living this lowered expectations life!

If you want to read a REALLY good piece from one of the journalists on the plane, read this one on Billboard.com. So worth it to see what they were told to expect and what really happened.

So, I’ma open up the floor and wait for folks to disagree with me.

Previous post

Grandpa Liu is Serving Everything I Need!

Next post

Why I'm No Longer About That Black Friday Life


  1. Serenity
    November 21, 2012 at 7:35 am

    Alright…. I’mma prolly get cursed out by your followers but I’ll take one for the team….

    That is exactly what “FREE” means. It means if you agree to it, you have no say how it goes down. You get whatever the people want to give you. I have gotten may “FREE” t-shirts that find their way in the trash, unworn. And I have been on dates where I was told to dress up and end up at some nasty assed buffet. That’s what “FREE” means.

    Why didn’t these journalists just leave? They make bank enough to have a card to get them out of Dodge if they weren’t happy. My see on it is they wanted to be treated like Rihanna herself. Read the fine print people! It ain’t about you!

    • Xay
      November 21, 2012 at 8:16 am

      The whole point of inviting journalists on this trip was to promote Rhianna and get free press – not to do those journalists a favor. Journalists are not dying for a free trip. Their life’s dream is not to see 7 Rhianna concerts in a week. They are there to do their jobs, ie. report what happened during the trip. Clearly, whoever came up with this idea did not see fit to make Rhianna available during the trip or to make the trip comfortable for the journalists, so here we are.

      Rhianna’s people had every opportunity to think through the logistics and give the journalists the story that would show Rhianna in the best light. They failed.

      • November 21, 2012 at 9:00 am

        ALL. OF. THIS. Thank you. These journalists get free trips for a damn living. It’s part of the job. So folks acting like they shoulda been hype like dogs at feeding time are getting life all wrong.

        • milaxx
          November 21, 2012 at 2:37 pm

          I wouldn’t even call this a free trip. Free means no obligations. This were journalist there to do a job, namely interview Rhianna and help her promote her cd. In exchange, they expected actual face time with her and fair accommodation. Their employers still expected them to turn in their word counts, so they have every right to be upset.

      • Annette
        November 21, 2012 at 3:37 pm


        What is the point of inviting the journalist that would give her good press a bad time. You invited people to a party treat them right. She wanted to get overall great press for her new album cause frankly lately her sales are slipping.

        This is the way they do it? They were trying to get off cheap. The least they should have done was say they were going to provide transportation and some snacks that is it. Lack of information is a total fail of all who organized this. Plus they should have provided a list of hotels, motels or places to people to stay in each locations.

        What is up with her team good idea poor execution. Sorry my time is valuable no way to treat guest. Totally unacceptable. Hate to say it but her days are number just too many of these issues. I know the album is unapologetic but she need to do things right.

    • November 21, 2012 at 8:24 am

      That is not what Free means. In no way. I understand that general society believes you “get what you pay for,” but if an agreement is brokered – and that agreement includes free services, that is what I expect to receive.

      I work and media and if you spend a certain value on your media purchase you are entitled to x amount of media value for free… And it must be the QUALITY of your paid value — even though it’s free.

      Free is not equal to shitty… Especially if a deal is in place.

      • November 21, 2012 at 9:03 am

        COME ON AND SPEAK ON IT, DENITRIA!!! \(.__.)/

        • CafeGirlsPress
          November 24, 2012 at 12:08 pm

          “Can you even identify half of the foods on this struggle plate?”

          Let’s leave my college days out of this.

    • November 21, 2012 at 8:52 am

      Soooo I’ma just say I’m sorry you accept crap from people. “Why didn’t these journalists just leave?” Oh so all journalists are balling enough to book immediate flight tickets? Oh, ok. Since we know their incomes and their responsibilities. Furthermore, like they also don’t have supervisors to answer to. So they can just do what the y want and say “forget this assignment!” Can you just decide not to go to work and not tell your supervisor? I’m pretty sure unless you work for yourself the answer is no. But these folks shoulda just hopped on another plane home? Chile NAWL.

    • November 21, 2012 at 8:56 am

      “free” means “no cost”, not “carte blanche to treat you like shit”.

    • November 21, 2012 at 9:11 am

      They agreed to a press tour. They did not agree to a media Lord of the Flies.

      They couldn’t leave. It was their JOB.

      Here, have some free reading comprehension.

    • Suni
      November 21, 2012 at 10:11 am

      Lurker, sorry, had to chime in on I see often.

      Journalists’ salaries average $30 – $60k (usually).

      We do not “bank” lol.

      That’s all.

      • Suni
        November 21, 2012 at 10:15 am

        Oops *something

        Also adding, I work in a large market and make $38k for anyone who cares, lol.

    • lolo
      November 21, 2012 at 11:18 am

      How would they have left? By jumping out of the plane? And part of the respect I think Luvvie is talking about is based on their expectations not being met (expecting interviews and just being treated decently). So, if they expected something and made plans based on that expectation, they have no right to be mad when all their plans were messed up?

      Now let’s talk about your date analogy. Do you go on a date for free food? And after you went on those dates where you were treated to nasty ass buffets, did you go home and just thank the Lord for the experience?

      And if the way a lot of those people on the 777 plane were treated is justifiable, why did Rihanna apologize?

    • Dee
      November 21, 2012 at 1:12 pm

      With that rationale black folks should be thankful for the free cruise they received to the US.

      • November 21, 2012 at 1:14 pm

        LMAOOOOO!!1 You just made me cackle. RIGHT!

      • November 21, 2012 at 1:27 pm

        Also, best comment of the day.

      • Cheekie
        November 21, 2012 at 2:07 pm

        Yup, this comment wins the internet.

  2. November 21, 2012 at 7:51 am

    I couldn’t agree with you more Luvvie!

    Basically these people got on the plane under false pretenses, still having to ATTEMPT to work, but can’t really report on anything besides how much the trip has sucked.

    I couldn’t even imagine trying to write blogs on no sleep, little food, and with an all around pissy attitude.

    In theory, this was a great idea, it’s just been executed horribly.

    • November 21, 2012 at 8:59 am

      Right. In THEORY. An idea is only as good as its execution. This was a great idea but the execution was so piss poor that it ended up being a terrible one.

      • Tay
        November 21, 2012 at 11:06 am

        Sorry, I’m just gonna put this out there and say… What the hell did you think would happen? That Rihanna would come out and speak to all 150 of you individually… Whilst preaparing for her performances… Getting dressed… Rehersal… And give you the food of kings? Dat’s what they eat while on tour… And I see the hairstylist, fashion stylist and production team wid you. Even a mixtape performer knows you will have little time to bath or eat. Big Sean lived on crisps and soda! That is the life when you go on tour! You already know that but it seems like it is beneath you. Rihanna works 23 hours for a 1 hour performance. She just not soo long ago came off her other tour and finished making her album only to go on another tour and sell a little more of herself to you. She is undoubtably the hardest working woman in the business and if she missed a few tasks in her day job it is for a reason. Empathy is what is missing from the media. They just don’t give a F***.

        • keisha brown
          November 21, 2012 at 11:49 am

          um, they expected what they agreed to.

          riri wanted publicity for the tour/upcoming album – if she wanted ppl who were going to be grateful just to be in her non-presence, she couldve invited fans only.

        • November 21, 2012 at 12:39 pm

          I think the salt on the wounds were Rhi, M. Ford, and her other BFF posting all these pics on instagram of them smoking weed, lounging in these big plush beds, and over all “looking” like they were have a great time!

          I believe we all would be pissed if we were told that we would at least get a press conference type set up only to be told the guest of honor isn’t available and then 10 mins later see her and her homies rolling a ‘rello, practicing making smoke ‘O’s, and taking provocative pictures in front of a four post bed while you haven’t had a full meal, sleep, nor a shower, nether less an opportunity to do the job that you were sent to do!

        • milaxx
          November 21, 2012 at 2:46 pm

          Wrong. I’ve been on a few press tours in my day. They group the press into manageable sizes so they can do interviews. Depending on the celeb there may be a prepared speech and some Q & A afterwards. If there is food it may not be fancy, but it at least attempts to hit all the food groups, not just ‘nanas & donuts.

          As mentioned this was just poorly planned and executed.

        • Kell
          November 22, 2012 at 12:39 am

          Tay…I was just gonna let you cook in your rose colored glasses and Rhianna #navy jumpsuit, but…nawl.

          #1–Rhianna’s ass LIP SYNCHED damn near EVERY song on her “tour”. Now she’s talking about she needed to preserve her voice? Chile, bye. I’m a professional singer, and you know how you protect your voice? By not smoking weed and drinking liquor. They both dehydrate you to death, and weed smoke is at least 3x more damaging than cig smoke to your mucosal membranes. Those who know, eat weed brownies or vaporize boo. Or so I’ve heard.

          #2–they weren’t expecting individual interviews. But to not even SEE this heffa, then have to wait 3 hours on the tarmac for HER to get her shit together to get to the venue, have to attend the same show every damn night, which she was also REPEATEDLY HOURS LATE FOR, yet she’s posting pics of her smoking and dranking…come on son. Rhianna works hard at being Rhianna, which is slowly becoming synonymous with trainwreck.

          #3–I’ve been on tours, and in the green room, there should have been at LEAST bottles of water for those people, if not some kind of community food. Hell, pizza and/or sandwiches are the go. to. for craft services when you have a large group. How are you dragging 150 people around, telling them they can’t leave designated areas for hours, and you’re not providing food or water? This was a logistical nightmare. It’s like she planned it herself–while high.

          #4–She did the SAME. SHOW. EVERY. NIGHT. Rehearsal? I think not. Getting dressed? It doesn’t take that long to put on leather chaps. And they do NOT eat bananas and donuts on tour. They have a rider, which stipulates what the venue is CONTRACTUALLY BOUND to provide for the artist. She could ask for steak tar-tar at 64degrees with 3 types of tea, 2 types of soda (one diet) bottled water, fresh fruit (but not including strawberries), 1% milk, vodka, lemons, cut into 8ths, and bendy straws in 3 assorted colors and you know what? THEY HAVE TO GIVE IT TO HER IF IT’S IN HER RIDER. Even if she doesn’t touch it. So…please don’t think the artist is the one going through it on tour. It’s usually the crew, the band, the sound tech, the light tech, the background singers and dancers that have to deal with donuts.

          #5–If big Sean lives on crisps and soda and is not bathing…he needs to rethink his life choices. THAT IS A PERSONA THEY ARE SELLING YOU. That ninja is eating whateverthehellhewants, if he has a good manager. Believe that. A show is 2 hours max–WTF are you doing if you’re not eating and bathing the rest of the day? Oh…smoking weed and sleeping off hangovers.

          #6–Empathy is not what’s missing from the media, common sense is what’s missing from the folks who are taking side with Rhianna in this. This is foolish.

          #7–The people who were working hard on this trip were those journalists, who had to dig a story up out of their asses while holding their poop and starving. Instead of writing a story, they became the story. That is shameful at best, inhumane at worst–simply because they weren’t there to suck on Rhianna’s teat–they were there to write. With no wi-fi or 3g. Or Sleep. Or Food. Or water. FOH

        • November 22, 2012 at 3:06 am


        • Buks
          November 22, 2012 at 11:00 pm

          ::insert NeNe_read_honey.gif riiiiiight here:: The standom folks will stoop to. Rehearse 23 hours a day?! Robyn R. Fenty?! Boy stoppppp!!

        • Jessica
          November 23, 2012 at 4:25 pm

          Wompy mcEffin Welpington. You just got read my dear. Also, I think people are missing the point. The journalists were doing HER the favor. Most people with three active brain cells to rub together wouldnt enjoy ONE Rihanna concert, let alone 7. SHE invited THEM to go frollick around the globe with her, so that SHE could get “free” press to promote her album. These journalists owe her absolutely nothing, and all of Rihannas stans are making it seem like Rihanna is the one who was slighted. Instead of taking care of the people who were, in retrospect, doing HER a favor, she gave them a big metaphorical EFF YOU every night that she wasted their time, or showed up late for concerts, or didnt feed them, etc. So not only is she pissing on them, but shes screwing herself over as well.There is such a thing as bad press, and thats what she got. Not only did they throw insurmountable amounts of shade in their articles about her, but the articles centered on one of two things. How bad the trip was, and how much they hated it. Besides the shade throwing, shes hardly mentioned at all. So much for rising album sales. -_-. But tell me Ms. Fenty, how exactly do you manage to bite all 150 hands that were there to feed you?

  3. Trinigyul
    November 21, 2012 at 8:20 am

    I like how you compared it to not knowing you were in a bad relationship until you’re in a good one. I read that one of the journalists said they did the same thing with Omarion and it was very enjoyable.

    Those journalists are their to get stories and make deadlines to their publications and in seven days they only saw her on the first day and the last o_O And then on top of that her apology was no bueno. I guess the name of her album is fitting.

    • November 21, 2012 at 9:02 am

      EXACTLY! They’ve been on these types of trips before and seen how they should be done well. So why shouldn’t they expect better? Chile…

      • Tay
        November 21, 2012 at 11:20 am

        -_-)!* right… You’ve been on a tour which schedules 7 performances in 7 countries in 7 days?… With an artist that just came off tour and just finished her album. Or have you been invited to see an artist by them giving you a ticket to their performances and then you travel separately for a 1 hour interview backstage and that’s it?

  4. Karen
    November 21, 2012 at 8:23 am

    I can’t help but wonder if those who feel like “you got it free, you should be grateful” have ever been treated with dignity and respect. Giving someone something does not give you the right to walk all over people. Even if it’s free, you should still be treated well. How does giving me something entitle you to treat me worse than a stray on the street? We as people have to stop thinking if someone gives you something, they are entitled to treat you any kind of way. I’d rather you keep your shit because I’m not going to let you walk on me!

    • November 21, 2012 at 9:03 am

      Hey, I gave you a sandwich for free! And while doing it, I threw it at your head and told you to beg me before eating it. Oh. O_______O Yeah, people and these lowered expectations. SMH.

  5. November 21, 2012 at 8:28 am

    i can’t believe people even disagree with you. like someone said above, journalists were there to do a job. people saying “they just wanted to drink with rihanna and didn’t get a chance to” are missing the point, completely. they were told they would have full access (aka SOMETHING TO REPORT ON) and saw the girl once. no one’s mad they weren’t partying with her and treated like queens, they’re mad they couldn’t do the job they were there to do. and people saying “they could just leave” are dumb as hell. they are there on business–if they left and something epic happened, they’d miss it…and probably be fired. and no, they DON’T get paid a lot–most likely not enough to randomly hop on a plane in a day’s notice back to america. it’s obvious these commenters have never worked in media.

    • November 21, 2012 at 9:04 am

      I can’t believe people disagree either and it lowkey makes me sad that they do. Like… so… when someone gives you something for free, you just let them run amok with your feelings? Oh. O_O

  6. November 21, 2012 at 8:29 am

    You can tell when people aren’t used to anything, i.e. those defending the actions of Rihanna and her staff. I used to work as an event planner for several companies and flew (for FREE) all over to plan events. I wouldn’t expect to be treated that way nor would I be expected to do my job under those conditions.

    Because of the nature of my work I knew some things were a given, less sleep, longer hours, later nights, etc. But I also got free meals (not bananas & donuts), free AWESOME sleeping arrangements, actual sleep, etc.

    Just because something’s free doesn’t mean that the quality should be piss poor. Also, it was more FREE for the fans than the journos, they usually have a budget to cover these things and only agreed because they thought they’d be getting an exclusive all access pass to Rih. If they just wanted to go to her concerts and not interview her they could have done that on their own time.

  7. November 21, 2012 at 9:05 am

    well, now Luvvie. After 34 years of living, I gotta straight up agree with you–free is NOT enough. Hell, sometimes PAID is not enough.

    The assumption in this case was that Rihanna was doing them a favor buy letting them follow her around. Talk about an inflated sense of self importance. These people could have been out reporting on the conflict in the middle east or the current state of Greece’s economy–OR following up behind another, more important and talented individual.

    How low budget can you get? Bananas, grapes, and donuts for dinner? I’m sorry. If I were the artist, I would have LAID IT OUT–because the whole point was for them to paint a good picture of “my life behind the scenes” right?

    I bet Bey wouldn’t have left them hanging. Jay-Z either. Speaking of which–they should have taught her better. WTH?

    • November 26, 2012 at 9:52 pm

      Jay and Beyonce don’t care what Rihanna does as long as her check clears. She is the immigrant help as far as they are concerned.

  8. November 21, 2012 at 9:12 am

    My five-year-old son saw the donuts, and got super excited. Too bad those people on the plane weren’t five.

  9. November 21, 2012 at 9:27 am

    I’m confused why people keep stressing that the trip was FREE. The way I see it is paid travel fees wasn’t a gift, it was payment for the journalists’ services. These journalists aren’t turning their noses up at a gift, they’re complaining about the form of payment they received for their jobs.

    I’m a singer, I have my transportation and lodging covered by the people whose event I’m singing at. If they put me up in a crappy motel, or put me to sleep on somebody’s couch, I have every right to complain. I dare someone to tell me I’m being ungrateful just because I didn’t pay for it. It’s part of the package of giving you my services, take care of me!

    • Boo Radley
      November 21, 2012 at 9:43 am

      Precisely! Couldn’t have put it better myself. Time=Money. The FANS got a free trip, the journalists were offered standard compensation in exchange for their services.

  10. Vejurnae
    November 21, 2012 at 9:31 am

    Looks to me that RiRi’s team could benefit from a change in tour management. This tour seems to be suffering from some horrible press… Logistics are pretty important when you are putting something like this together. I’m almost certain RiRi and her team were not eating donuts and bananas for dinner. If you want to do it big, that is fine, but have a plan, respect people’s profession, have a tour bus at each location packed with showers, be prepared people should expect humane treatment… And let’s be honest a free trip is not the same as a work trip sorry… Sweat equity costs.

    • keisha brown
      November 21, 2012 at 11:54 am

      pasta and salad for dinner
      sandwiches and salads for lunch
      muffins and danishes for breakfast

      cheapest way to feed large group. not hard.
      (i worked for an event catering co, i know)

  11. Rae
    November 21, 2012 at 10:15 am

    Was this RiRi’s first plane tour? What’s “her” reputation regarding this kind of thing? Honestly, this is what I would have expected from her and brought my own shiggity. People have to know who they are dealing with.

  12. November 21, 2012 at 10:17 am

    Luvvie is correct about the whole lowered expectations thing. And her apology consisting of basically saying she had to get her sleep – my bad just plain old sucks! Those people were not treated humanely or with any respect, and it is sad that anybody would say “Well – it was free”.

  13. Courtney
    November 21, 2012 at 10:18 am

    There was an agreement and it is broken. It is as simple as that. Just because someone give you something for free or a gift is no excuse to be treated like you are next to nothing. If this was on Judge Judy, she will be calling out this foolery.

  14. November 21, 2012 at 10:23 am

    So what you guys are saying is

    1) on a plane you get served the best meals? What do you expect to get served on a plane? 5 star cuisine? Is it Rihanna’s personal plane or a standard airline that was hired? Or you guys expect Rihanna to start an airline with 5 star dining for everyone on board? expensive enough just hiring a 777 and getting all these ppl on it for FREE

    2) bananas and grapes backstage. Again, were you expecting a 5 star meal backstage for the Journalistss? The BAND would have had the same stuff. You don’t eat meals backstage before a performance. It’s stupid to think the journalists would be fed. They’re the last priority to be honest. Buy your own dinner guys. Not that hard. Eat the snacks provided in between. You would think these people got invited on holiday. Do your damn work!

    3) No journalist is being held against their will.

    4) They didn’t get any sleep? I wasn’t aware a gun was being held to their heads forcing them to stay awake. If Rihanna doesn’t sleep much and is always working, they should raise their game and keep up and not whine about it. If it’s too much for you go to sleep then.


    • Southern Lady
      November 21, 2012 at 11:26 am

      You sound dumb. If I’m being flown half across the world, for $4600 dollars — I expect some decent amount of service i.e. hotel accomodations, meals paid. I can see donuts and bananss for breakfast, but dinner? Nah I can’t even attempt to jig to that.

    • keisha brown
      November 21, 2012 at 11:57 am

      You would think these people got invited on holiday. Do your damn work!

      but…if shes not there/available to cover/report on…how exactly? by writing about donuts and bananas????

  15. Nicole
    November 21, 2012 at 10:24 am

    Journalists or Bloggers?? Big Difference. Most of them appeared to be independent bloggers not journalists who work for a media company, magazine, etc. seriously doubt an ABC news journalists would agree to this “free” trip w/o details on hotel accommodations,etc. They also would be able to afford a meal at an airport food court or concert concession stand…#justsaying

    • milaxx
      November 21, 2012 at 4:47 pm

      That line has log been blurred. More and more outlets use freelancers. Huffington Post is almost entirely freelancers.

    • Necole Bitchie
      November 21, 2012 at 11:17 pm

      I came to comment on a funny comment above about black folks and the free cruise but I just have to say that, I was one out of maybe 4 bloggers (if that) on the plane. They didn’t invite bloggers like that because of the fear of what they would write. (For some reason I believe they were under the impression that I would be civilized in my reporting and that is why they invited me. I still haven’t written my thoughts yet. I’m still trying to figure out my angle.) The guy from US Weekly was sending in his reviews which were negative and I saw his employer constantly editing it up to spin it to be more positive because they want to keep that relationship with the label. To be honest, no one wanted to trash the tour at first but they had to start being honest by the fourth day. The press that were on the plane included people who worked in radio, TV, Rolling Stone, Billboard, US Weekly and those top tier magazines, Fuse, VH1, MTV, Complex, Daily Mail, The Guardian, GQ and so on. Those were real journalists that were on that plane. I wasn’t as upset as everyone else because, again, I was one of the only people on the plane who didn’t have a boss yelling at me and threatening to fire me if I didn’t start sending in content each day. Can you imagine the company resources wasted? Most of the outlets sent their top tier writers. Those writers could have been contributing a shitload of stories on a range of other topics and artists during those 7 days they were globetrotting and getting nothing.

      You have to really look at it in terms of business (wasted time is wasted money) to really get the frustration from these guys. If you want to provide the bare minimum, next time invite fans only that would love to waste time, flying around the world with their favorite artists for bragging rights, not folks that were on assignment and had a job to do (with no wifi might I add.)

      • November 22, 2012 at 12:03 am

        Exactly! It baffles me that people think that the upset is all over not having a chance to play pat-a-cake with Rihanna and/or have a puff of her joint(s).

        Yes, touring with Rihanna for free sounded fun (for some), most people were there to do a job, and NOT to kick their feet back and pretend that the sound of the airplane’s hum was the sound of daiquiris mixing.

  16. November 21, 2012 at 10:37 am

    As a blogger an journalist I would have been PISSED at this trip. My job is to report. Having nothing to report on is ridiculous and I’d been pissed to spend 7 days covering a story that I could have covered from the comfort of my own office.

    With that being said, I know Rihanna is NOT a robot. She was bound to get tired. This was a huge undertaking for any artist. The planning was horrible. They should have SCHEDULED time for her to talk to the traveling press and fans before/after each show. That way the fans would have access and the press would have gotten quotes. Even if she go on the intercom and said “Free pizza at the next stop! Ya’ll enjoy, I’m going to sleep.” that would have been better than saying nothing at.

    Lastly, FREE is NOT enough – agreed. I travel with my job we get a per diem and a nice hotel and meal vouchers. They don’t plan each meal, but they sure do give us enough time to make a conscious decision about what we are eating. Journalists don’t make BIG BUCKS but we do have BIG PERKS. You expect a certain level of excellence from artists and that excellence was not there.

  17. Tip
    November 21, 2012 at 11:06 am

    I had to come back and post this because while you’re making statements that people who are against the antics of the press are just people who have low standards and accept anything; here is a summary from one of the bloggers that was there. THIS is what the journalists were there for. THIS right here…..


  18. jake
    November 21, 2012 at 11:43 am

    Luvvie, calm down I know we (false humility since it was me arguing on fb) hit a nerve. I concede that you do have a very strong argument about NOT TAKING CRAP FROM NOBODY. I have taken that message to heart. Just cause it is a freebie, I don’t deserve to be looked down on or treated like dirt.
    May I humbly ask if these 150 people were restricted to the plane the whole time? It was a minimum of 7 flights! You made a point about not expecting the shoddy service but seven flights?
    Your example about EG, you were a hostage the whole time. These Journalists were not.
    I get the impression some people were really ratchety and saved up on hotel bills by staying on the plane! o_O tell me it wasn’t so (am giving you the side eye).

    • November 21, 2012 at 3:43 pm

      These journalist and fans were forced to stay on the planes for three hours at a time before take off. Sometimes they were forced to stay on buses parked in parking lots without food, water, and use of a bathroom for four hours. They also only got to spend only enough time in each hotel to take a quick nap and/or shower. Sometimes just one or the other. The hotels, airfare, and everything else was paid for by Rihanna’s team, but if you can shit, eat, or sleep and you have a boss riding on you to get just one quote or a lil something something to write about…wouldn’t you be mad too?!

  19. Rachmo
    November 21, 2012 at 11:56 am

    THANK YOU!!! This was the crux of my comment yesterday. It’s their JOBS. I’m sure the journalists were glad to go but it was an ASSIGNMENT. THEY HAD TO GO!!! I do not think any of the journalists could go up to their bosses and say “Hey I don’t want to get on a plane with a pop star for seven days even though I’m a music journalist.” Who would do that if they cared about their JOBS??? **sighs deeply**

  20. RL McGruder
    November 21, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    This whole thing puts me in mind of a phrase coined years ago by a friend:

    Sometimes ‘free’ is still too high a price to pay.

  21. November 21, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    There are two sides to this, to me:

    On one hand, the execution of this was TERRIBLE. If Rihanna actually planned for it to go down that way, she’s an asshole.

    On the other hand, some of the journalists’ public complaints were unprofessional. It’s still their job. I can’t get away with complaining about my job on Twitter. Give a bad review and keep it moving.

    • November 21, 2012 at 3:47 pm

      As a journalist, I can honestly say their complaints were not unprofessional. They were there to do a job. As a journalist we are chosen to write the truth even if the truth hurts. When the story we came for turns up short, guess what, we still have to turn in a story. IF that means that we become the story, then so be it. They were chosen to write about Rihanna and the goings on of the 777 tour. Since they couldn’t write about Rihanna, they had to change their story around and just write about the tour. That is what any good slash great journalist would do.

  22. ASNYC
    November 21, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    For those talking about how hard Rihanna was allegedly working, she was at the club every night after the concerts when she wasn’t getting high and drunk on the other plane she chartered. And, when she performed she seemed high and/or drunk. She made the band stop and start all over when she forgot the lyrics and she wasn’t even singing!

    As for whether or not the were held hostage, every time the plane landed, they would have to wait for hours on the tarmac. No one was checking into a hotel because they weren’t sleeping in any of the cities, they were flying from one show to the next. It was seven concerts, in seven cities, for seven days. Just when and where would they have gotten a hotel.

    As for the food situation, obviously some of you have never been backstage at concerts or at least where the artists eat. They have stuff laid out: lots of good food, liquor (not saying that should have been part of it), quality beverages, coffee, tea, ice cream, you name it. No respectable tour has a food spread like she had up there.

    The truth is this: Rihanna wanted the type of press you cannot buy. The first day, she was drinking, partying, and smoking with them. She was talking to them and there was a story to report. She wasn’t doing this out of her good heart, she was doing it because she has a new album out. The thing is that Rihanna is not professional enough to be able to keep up the facade for seven days. She’s too invested in partying, clubbing, getting high, and getting drunk. She didn’t have to go out with Diddy, Cassie, Akon, and her friend Melissa when she was in Paris, for example. She didn’t need to be getting high in her cabin and taking dumb photos using Euros as pasties. She should have been professional and giving interviews. You do not keep people on a plane, you do not keep them on a tarmac, you do not keep them hungry, and you certainly do not refuse them access they were promised.

    Can anyone see Beyonce doing this? Can anyone see Taylor Swift doing this? Can anyone see Katy Perry doing this? Of course not. Rihanna is in this “I don’t give a fuck thing.” Well, that’s cute, but don’t try to front like you care what the public sees or hears by pulling stunts and shows to get positive press by offering inducements like this. She forgets Fame 101: the same ones who pushed you to the top can dropkick your ass down to the earth real quick. Now the journalists who went have their fellow journalists siding with them. Bloggers are journalists too. They are the new media and print media is going the way of the dinosaurs. Don’t discount their work because you’re too dim to realize that most news is curated on, aggregated on ,and through the internet. These journalists had a job to do and so did Rihanna. She chose to make them the story by refusing to keep herself front and center of this. Even if she had given them five star accommodations the whole way through but still ducked out on them, they would have been pissed. Now the media is gonna come for her and they have a right to do so. Don’t pull stunts and then catch feelings when people call you out as a ratchet stunt queen.

    • MimiLuvs
      November 21, 2012 at 5:02 pm

      GGGGOOOTTDAYUM, you had put your entire foot into this post!
      I am on the side of the journalists, in regards to this 777 (or as I like to call it, The 666 High in the Sky Tour) tour incident.
      I just refuse to get into a debate with any members of the Rihanna Navy, because its like trying to have a conversation with a wall.

      • ASNYC
        November 21, 2012 at 9:18 pm

        I’m sick of hearing ignorant people say that no one should complain because they were traveling for free. They were not going for free. Rihanna wanted to use them to get attention for her album and she offered them inducements to do it. Promotion for your album is not giving anything for free. If she wanted to buy an ad or airtime, she would have to pay too. These people were doing a job when they were covering her and she wanted the press. She offered this so-called “free” experience in order to get press. Press isn’t free. Period.

        Rihanna is unprofessional. That’s what this is about. She’s too busy chasing Chris Brown, beefing with his ex in Twitter, getting high, and getting drunk. She does not sing on stage, she doesn’t dance because she can’t, and she stumbles all over the stage lip synching. She’s too intoxicated or tired from partying to maintain even minimal professionalism. That she can’t stay sober enough or refrain from partying for seven damn days is indicative of the fact should concern her record company. That she would make a mess of the type of positive press money can’t buy but she was getting anyway just by being friendly to them the first day should cause them concern. As I said, you wouldn’t catch any other professional doing this. Gaga, Bey, Katy Perry, Adele, Taylor Swift, Madonna, Jay-Z, or Kanye would never do something like this.

        The Rihanna Navy need to get a cute seat at the bottom of the ocean. Don’t argue with anyone who’s a stan because being oblivious, irrational, and delusional are the foundations of standom. Her issues with drugs, alcohol, and partying are obviously so dire that even her navy can’t save this sinking ship.

    • November 21, 2012 at 6:37 pm


  23. Christie
    November 21, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    How could anybody expect this to be great? Rhiana has a reputation for frequently starting shows late, lip syncing and for forgiving guys that punched her in the face. Obviously, she comes in last when it comes to using good judgement. The onliest reason she apologized at all is because of all the bad press this shit storm is getting.

    • November 22, 2012 at 3:09 am

      If Rihanna herself lacks sense, you’d think her tour organizers would mke up for it. But NAWL. Too much like right!

  24. Rachel
    November 22, 2012 at 8:38 pm

    I agree with all of those on the journalists’ side. ESPECIALLY the thoughts on professionalism and the fact that this “free” trip was meant to BUY PRESS for her tour. Duh.

    Glad you didn’t let up on this, Luvvie. The whole thing is ridiculous.