Doja Cat—the Grammy-winning, extremely online singer/rapper—has gotten herself into trouble with two groups you don't want to piss off: Stranger Things fans and a good chunk of Twitter.
On Thursday, Doja Cat called out Stranger Things star Noah Schnapp during an Instagram Live stream for posting their DM conversation, in which she asked him to set her up with his season 4 co-star Joseph Quinn.
Schnapp, who plays the character Will Byers and has 26.3 million TikTok followers, included a screenshot of their conversation in a video he posted on the platform Thursday; he has since deleted it. “Noah can u tell Joseph to hmu,” Doja wrote in the messages, adding “wait no. does he have a gf?” The 17-year-old actor told the singer to “slide in [Quinn’s] DMs,” but she claimed that she couldn’t find his social media accounts.Schnapp then sent Doja a link to Quinn’s Instagram page, the handle of which is simply the29-year-old actor’s full name.
Initially, the internet seemed amused when Schnapp revealed Doja’s interest in Quinn. “She’s so relatable,” wrote one user in response to Pop Crave’s post about the incident. “Get it sis,” tweeted another. (After all, she had previously tweeted “joseph quinn fine as shit” last month, when Stranger Things’ fourth season premiered.)
However, not long after Schnapp posted his TikTok, Doja claimed on Instagram Live that she was bothered by Schnapp disclosing their interaction.
“I’m just going to say something right now about the whole Noah Schnapp thing,” the “Kiss Me More”singer said during the stream. “First, let’s try to be chill about it. To be fair, this is a kid. Noah is, like—I don’t know how old he is. He’s not even over … there’s no way he’s over 21.”
The 26-year-old musician, who’s famously accrued her own pile of social-media controversies throughout her career, offered the child actor some grace before not-so-subtly ripping into him.
“When you’re that young, you make mistakes,” she said. “You do dumb shit. I’m, like, trying to be super fair. … You fuck up relationships with people. You make mistakes. Like, you’re supposed to do stuff like that so you know not to do that stuff in the future. I did my share of fuck-ups so I don’t fuck-up again.”
“But the fact that Noah did that, and went and posted a private conversation between me and him is so unbelievably, like, socially unaware and wack,” she continued. “You know what I mean? Like, that’s like borderline snake shit. That’s like weasel shit.”
One of the most obvious rules of online etiquette is that you don’t post a conversation with someone without their consent (although the economy of the dating-app DM screenshots on Twitter and Reddit is always thriving). Several of Doja’s defenders made this argument online, as part of the near-immediate discourse following her Live.
doja cat dmed noah and he exposed the dms without confirming with doja first, its wrong. he violated her rights of privacy and not that any of the dm was wrong, she doesn’t curse nor say any dirty words; she simply just asked for help. you all are blowing it out of the proportion
— ᘏ⑅ᘏ (@222witch) July 8, 2022
Why is Doja getting backlash for being reasonably upset??Privacy is privacy wthhh
— Bobby (@BobbyKingDeal) July 8, 2022
However, many Twitter users in particular also rushed to Schanpp's defense. They argued that Doja going to Schnapp to matchmake was inappropriate or, at the very least, weird, given that he’s a child. The pushback grew so strong that the words “He’s 17” started trending on Twitter by Friday morning.
sorry i have to laugh at the doja cat noah schnapp situation because why would you go to a 17-year-old known shitposter asking him to hook you up with his 29-year-old coworker and expect him to be 100% serious about it LETS BE REAL
— adri 41 !! DJ DAY (@partywithyou) July 8, 2022
doja cat has instagram you search up joseph and joseph quinn comes up immediately. fawk was she doing in noah schnapp’s dms maybe he thought it was a joke cause she literally dmed him on insta WHICH joseph has…like 😭 saying a 17 yr old is on some snake shit cmon
— ₊ (@staIkerkiIIer) July 8, 2022
It’s common knowledge in our current stan culture that, when a mega-pop star publicly declares beef with someone, that person often becomes the target of cyberbullying, death threats and even doxxing by aggressive stans. And Doja’s have proved to be particularly loyal and overzealous since she became a mainstream star.
It would seem that in a battle between one of the biggest pop stars in the world and a lesser-known but fairly popular child actor on a Netflix show, Doja would come out victorious. (For his part, Schnapp has not clapped back at Doja Cat since she called him out for his “weasel shit.”) But the combination of passionate Stranger Things fans, people reasonably protective of children, and members of Gen-Z concerned with calling out power dynamics in age gaps currently appears more powerful than the Kittenz.
This current fiasco also hearkens back to when another Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown, who was 14 years old at the time, revealed that rapper Drake texted her dating advice, which caused similar outrage and speculation of grooming among social-media users. Reps for Drake even had to deny a comment from a TikTok user posing as the Canadian musician in response to a video about Brown turning 18 earlier this year.
Overall, the lesson here seems to be that rappers shouldn’t text the actors of Stranger Things.