Last week, Kailyn Lowry deleted her Twitter as fans called for her to be fired for appalling racism after an older Teen Mom 2 clip resurfaced.
Now, MTV is forcing all of its stars to undergo social media "background checks" ... or risk being fired.
A troubling video has resurfaced in which Kailyn Lowry uses a racist dogwhistle when describing her own son, Isaac.
"When he goes over there, you have him dress a certain way; you have him look a certain way; you have his hair cut a certain way," Kail told Jo.
"And," she says while confronting her baby daddy, "that's not who he is."
"I think you forget about the fact that he's half-white and he's half-Hispanic," Kailyn reminded him.
"I feel like you dress him in a stereotypical way," Kailyn accused Jo, "and I don't like it."
"I don't understand what your description of how I dress him is," Jo protested.
"You dress him like a thug!" Kail exclaimed.
Infamously, thug has become almost exclusively used against men of color, often said with a venomous tone. Fans are horrified.
"Bahahahahahaha ok, I’m not racist," Kailyn declared on Twitter at the time.
Saying that you're not racist is one thing, but laughing off a serious accusation is ... not great.
Kail added at the time: "Gotta make good TV somehow!"
Is that good television? Is the secret ingredient racism?
At the time, Toni Ziegler told The Ashley that despite her social media claims, Kailyn wished that she had spoken differently.
"Kail does regret saying that," she affirmed.
Toni explained that Kailyn regretted saying it "because she wants Isaac to embrace both of his cultures."
"But," she stressed, "it didn’t go down quite how it’s being shown."
"She was wrong to say it, for sure," Toni agreed.
"But," she explained, "she was upset that Jo tries to change Isaac’s life and look so much whenever he goes over there."
"Plus, a lot of the time Jo just does it because he knows it makes Kail mad," Toni accused.
She characterized: "He likes to push her buttons."
Right now, millions of Americans are courageously march in protest of racism and escalating police violence from coast to coast.
It is a time of reckoning for many racist individuals and institutions, from lethal police policies to widely criticized shows like Cops.
So it is no surprise that, this time, Kail's clip is getting more attention on social media than it has in the past.
People are more aware and motivated now than ever before of how horrific the impact of racism can be.
So why are people calling for Kailyn, in particular, to be fired?
It's not just that she used an infamous racist dogwhistle ... it's that she used it to refer to her own son.
Kailyn, they note, has multiple biracial children, and should be the absolute last person to use harmful language like that.
Sadly, having friends, partners, and children of color does not prevent a person from being racist.
The Ashley reports that, on Thursday and Friday of last week, the Teen Mom cast members received some news.
They were informed that they must now undergo background checks and complete reviews of their social media accounts.
A third party media company will conduct this review of all accounts, past and present, spanning the past 10 years.
This applies to the titular moms, but also to other cast members such as the dads.
"The cast members were informed that they have to fill out a complete background check," a production source reveals.
"They were told if they don’t complete the background check, or refuse," the insider shares, "they may not be allowed to appear on the [next] season of the show."
"Some cast members were freaking out," the source characterizes.
"And," the insider continues, they were "saying it’s unfair to subject them to such intense scrutiny, after being with the show for 10 years."
“The [producers] were being pretty cryptic, too," the source describes.
"And," the insider added, producers "would not tell the cast what the company is looking for."
Apparently they were not sharing that "or what happens if something that’s ‘problematic’ is found during the search."
Of course, it is unknown if producers are receiving the same treatment. They may simply not know.
"It’s ridiculous,” a production source complained.
“[Viacom] already has Season 10 [of ‘Teen Mom 2’] in the can," the insider notes.
"So," the source griped, "to try to do this now is dumb."
Is it dumb to do due diligence for people who are paid massive sums of money to appear on people's TV screens?
"They are just trying to get ahead of any possible ‘problems’ fans will dig up on social media and they’ll have to deal with," the source notes.
"They have not been told what happens exactly if something ‘bad’ is found," the insider shares.
"So," the source explains, "everyone is going through their stuff with a fine-tooth comb right now."
Well, that is good advice for anyone, right?
Sometimes, people can feel that the search for "bad takes" goes too far. Sometimes, that can be true.
After all, we can all learn and grow as people. There are things that someone could tweet in 2012 that they would never repeat in 2020.
But some things transcend that. Some things aren't bad jokes or ignorant takes, but appalling and racist no matter when they were said.
It is not unreasonable for a company to hold public figures to a higher standard -- especially when that company wants to avoid boycotts.