Malik Yoba just pulled an ‘R. Kelly’ during an interview!!! The actor, who has been in the news for weeks after claiming to be ‘trans-attracted’ couldn’t stand the heat when asked direct questions.
As previously reported, Yoba has been accused by a former trans prostitute of soliciting sex from her at ages 13 and 16 and he responded with a bizarre freestyle (click HERE if you missed that).
When the situation was brought during in an interview with The Root, Yoba exploded in anger, tore off his mic and walked off the set.
Details + Video below…
In the full interview below, Malik Yoba appears confident that he can handle any questions and proceeds to drive the conversation by talking in circles.
When asked what makes him qualified to lead the charge for trans-rights, Yoba states that he “understood” the trans-experience because he once had to portray a trans person on New York Undercover.
The heat begins around the 7 minute mark when the interviewer asked Yoba to respond to a Facebook post by Mariah Lopez Ebony, in which she accused the actor of soliciting sex from her at ages 13 and 16.
Yoba said, “I don’t know the woman,” and “I have no idea who she is.”
According to The Root, Lopez stands by her claims.
Lopez was born April 27, 1985, so the first sexual act would have likely taken place in 1998 and the second act in 2001. Lopez is a long-time trans rights activist and executive director of STARR, the Strategic Trans Alliance for Radical Reform, founded by trans pioneers Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson. Lopez alleges Yoba, now 52, would drive around New York’s Greenwich Village area looking for trans women to pay for sex.
The Root also provided timestamps and a transcript forYoba’s on-camera interview, where he gave this response to Mariah’s Facebook allegations:
The Root [7:11]: Since creating these posts, you’ve received a mixture of support and criticisms. On a more serious note, a trans woman named Mariah Lopez Ebony wrote a Facebook post in which she accused you of soliciting sex from her as a minor when she was both 13 and 16 years old. What do you have to say to this allegation?
Yoba [7:34]: I say that, you know, when I heard that, and I actually didn’t read it until last Thursday, what she actually said, I don’t know the woman, number one…
The Root [7:44]: So, you’re saying you never met her, you don’t know her?
Yoba [7:47]: That’s exactly what I am saying. I don’t know her. I have no idea who she is. I am familiar with that pain, I’m familiar with that trauma. I’m familiar with people who are crying out for help. I’m familiar with the lack of regard for this population, which is, again, my point. So, when I heard it, for me, to hear something so heinous, right, number one, and to see someone post something with no proof of anything and to see the world embrace it, or a portion of the world embrace it, that toxicity, speaks exactly to the reason I do the work that I do.
So, it’s an oxymoron almost. It’s like wow, the first cis-gender man who stands up for the community and gets attacked by that community. But that’s true for anybody that’s ever stood up for oppressed people. It’s happened to Gandhi. It’s happened to Mandela. It’s happened to Marcus Garvey. It’s happened to Malcolm X. It’s happened to anyone who has said, ‘I am gonna stand up for these oppressed people.’ Think about who we are, right? There was a time we couldn’t drink from water fountains, we couldn’t sit on the bus. Think about how ridiculous that is. And so, for me, having a view of a community that I grew up with and seeing the suffering. The very thing that motivates me to help people out of it is something someone tried to accuse me of…
When The Root tried to interject, Yoba interrupted.
Yoba [9:11]: I wanna finish the point. So, the point is to be on the other side of that tells me that the work has to continue and the blessing will be greater because the truth will always outweigh a lie. Right? So the truth is people are suffering. The truth is there are kids in the street. Right? But the other truth is for my entire life, I am someone who has been working with young people since I was 16 years old, making sure that there are better pathways for other people, so, that’s a very loaded question for you to ask me that and we discussed that before.
At this point in the interview, it was emphasized that Yoba and The Root had established an understanding during an initial Sept. 16 conversation regarding the allegations between Yoba and senior reporter Terrell Jermaine Starr, as well as the negative perceptions of him in the trans community. A wider conversation about his activism and his upcoming projects were also discussed in that meeting with Yoba and his publicists, and it was stated that these issues would be discussed in the Sept. 20 interview.
The interview took a turn when The Root asked Yoba if he worried people would perceive his answer to the assault allegations as centering himself.
Yoba [10:17]: Yeah, you know, um, this is a bullet wound. Right? We’re on 45th Street and Broadway. I got shot five blocks from here at the age of 15. Right? A quarter of an inch over I would have been paralyzed from the neck down. A half-inch over I’d be dead. So, since January 18, 1983, I’ve never taken a second for granted to be alive. I can’t even count how many people who are no longer here I grew up with that I’ve known. Numbers? I don’t even know how many it is. Right? And so life is precious and each moment is precious. So for someone who has long understood the power of thought and the power of intention, the ability to manifest my life the way I’ve wanted to. I never had a job I didn’t want. I’ve never had to work just to make money. Every single thing I’ve done in my life, whether I was a bike messenger, you know, working with young people, making movies, TV, working in education, working with the criminal justice system, working environment, working with fathers. Any social issue, professional pursuit, every single thing I’ve done it’s because it’s an intention. And I followed the intention and I chased the purpose, right?
And so, to stand up in the face of someone saying that you’re this when I know I am this, I also felt, Wow. That’s kinda how it feels like to be transgender [12:14]. Right? Can you imagine walking into the world, looking the way you and I do, but feeling inside that something is not lining up and you need to address that. The way you present in the world and you don’t look so good.
The Root [12:30]: I don’t think I could ever or anybody who is cisgender could ever place themselves in a trans person’s position.
Yoba [12:37]: I think we can because I had to do it on New York Undercover. So, on New York Undercover, we did an episode where people were killing transgender people. So we actually had to dress and go into the world…
The Root [12:50]: That’s fiction, though. That’s not real life.
Yoba [12:53]: Yeah, but you’re missing my point. You’re making your point. The point that I’m making is that you asked me what does it feel like to stand up in the face of this. And I’m telling you that if I am this and someone is calling me this, that is akin to a transgender woman being called a man.
The Root [13:14]: Do you really make that comparison?
Yoba [13:17]: I do. You may not make it but I’m making the comparison because I sat in it. I know what it’s like for people to try and yell at me and tell me I’m gay, to tell me I’m a pedophile, to tell me what I’m not. And I have to stand up to that. And the only thing I can do is stand up with the truth. And, so, when you feel that pain, when you walk down the street and people are basically saying, ‘Fuck you’ and you still walk on your purpose, that’s empowering. As painful as it is, it’s also empowering. And so when I talk to my transgender friends and they have people tell them what they’re not and they’re telling you that they are, that’s painful for them too.
So if I am gonna be the person, the first one, to stand up and take the hits. I know what it feels like and I feel I have the right to say, yes, as I stand alongside you, I do understand your pain. Not on an intellectual level but on an experiential level. I was walking down the street the other and someone said ‘Happy Birthday, AIDS victim.’ They screamed that out of a window to me. I lost work because of this, just like trans people. I have people look at me sideways just like trans people. I have people calling me gay, just like trans people. So I have the right to tell you exactly how it feels if I choose to stand up with these folks that I love and appreciate and consider part of my humanity. And I can tell you what it feels like.
When Yoba was asked about the Lopez allegations he replied that he didn’t know what the reporter was talking about and appeared visibly uncomfortable.
The reported then asked if Yoba actually cares for trans people or if his ‘trans-attraction’ is more like he fetishizes them. Yoba demanded to change the subject, stating that they met for 4 hours previously to discuss the interview questions.
The interviewer stated that he was only asking questions that they agreed upon and seemed to totally trigger Yoba when he stated, ‘you’re making yourself look bad’.
Yoba then snatched off his mic, walked away from his chair and yelled “fuck you” to the reporter and the production team. He also demanded that he be given the SD video cards that recorded the interview, which The Root’s producers refused to do.