Last week on Black Ink Crew, a Puma team-building exercise led to a Black client feeling offended after Young Bae gave her some advice about getting a color tattoo. Ceaser addresses the situation this week, but did Bae do anything wrong?
Puma Comes Bearing Bad News For Bae
It’s the day after the battle of the sexes tattoo competition, and Puma wastes no time telling Young Bae that their client left happy with her tattoo but felt very offended. Bae never said explicitly that the Black client was “too dark” for a color tattoo, but she did explain it would not stand the test of time after it’s done. Anyway, according to Puma, the client felt as if Bae made it seem like she couldn’t get a full-color tattoo because of her dark skin, something Black people have endured unfairly for years, making them feel self-conscious about their skin.
While Puma feels Bae wasn’t trying to offend the client by explaining that color tattoos will fade over time, he feels she could have gotten that message across better and feels it’s a bad look on the Black Ink brand. Understandably, the discussion left Bae feeling a type of way, and she left the shop because she wasn’t focused on race but on giving the client an honest assessment.
After Bae leaves, Vanity, the one who took it upon herself to do the tattoo, says she understands how the client feels but also felt Bae didn’t say anything crazy and would have stepped in if she thought Bae was out of line. Vanity, Krystal, and the other Black Ink artists in the shop revealed they are not comfortable doing color tattoos. Krystal, who sat out the competition, went even further by saying that she would have recommended the client go somewhere else if it weren’t a competition.
After hearing what the artists had to say, Puma felt the artists should have been honest from the jump and not have done the tattoo. He also announced the winner of the Battle of The Sexes competition, saying the men’s team took home the W.
Spyder Gets To The Bottom of His Health Issues
We learned earlier in the season that Spyder’s frustrations in the shop (mainly with Rok and Krystal) were partially a result of him privately dealing with a health issue. Spyder and his wife decide to visit a doctor, and she tells him that he might be suffering from Trigeminal Neuralgia, a condition with no known cure. The doctor suggests that Spyder could alleviate some of the pain he is going through by getting brain surgery. Spyder breaks down in tears, and his wife consoles him and reassures him that they will handle the issue together. Spyder eventually gets an MRI, and he’s nervous about it but handles it like a chief and is relieved to have gotten it done.
Teddy Is Selling Krystal A Musical Pipe Dream
Teddy, who does absolutely nothing, is dead serious about this music label and wants to groom Krystal into a superstar. He feels she has the potential to get a “viral hit record” but needs to work on her stage presence, even though we all know that’s not the only thing she needs. Teddy sets up a session with a choreographer who “worked with Beyonce,” but the session went as you expected, nowhere. We shall see how long Black Ink Crew will stick with this storyline.
Teddy & Ceaser Talk About The Bae Situation
Ceaser is finally back from his vacation and is immediately greeted with some drama. Teddy and Puma tell him about the whole situation with Bae and honestly embellishes the entire story by saying that Bae offended the client by saying that you can’t do color tattoos on Black skin (she didn’t say that). Both Ceaser and Teddy also think it’s a bad look that a Black-owned tattoo shop has artists that can’t do color tattoos on dark skin. That sounds like a Ceaser problem from the jump because he hired all of these artists, so he should be making sure they know how to do their profession correctly.
Anyway, Teddy says he will link up with Bae to talk about the situation. He wants to explain to her just like how she thought they should be mindful about what they say about the Asian community, the same energy needs to keep when it comes to talking about Black people getting color tattoos. Again, keep in mind that she didn’t say anything egregious to the level Donna did that had Bae upset, so we don’t understand how Teddy even compared the two situations. Ceaser decides he needs to get in touch with a tattoo artist he met named Pooch, who can hopefully teach his crew how to approach tattooing people with darker skin tones.
Teddy and Bae have that face-to-face conversation, and she truly believes that she did not tell the client that she couldn’t get a color tattoo becuase of her darker skin. Teddy explains to her that it’s an offensive stereotype that Black people still endure while pointing out he doesn’t believe Bae is racist. Teddy tells Bae she needs to be mindful of things she says, particularly to Black clients, just like how she wants them to respect the Asian community. Even though she doesn’t feel like she didn’t do anything wrong, Bae agrees and regrets unintentionally offending anyone.
Krystal and Tatti link up over drinks to discuss the matter. Tatti believes that Puma was too harsh on Bae (the one time we agreed with Tatti). At the same time, Krystal understands where Puma is coming from. Krystal believes that does look bad for a brand that calls itself Black Ink and is supposed to be a safe space for Black and Brown people who want to get the tattoos they desire.
Bae’s “Misstep” Becomes A Teachable Moment For Black Ink
After a phone conversation with Pooch, Ceaser convinces him to get on a flight to teach his crew about doing color tattoos on dark skin, and Bae agrees to be in attendance. Pooch arrives, and everyone, except for Bae, who isn’t there, gathers around to watch him do a tattoo on a fairly lighter dark skin individual than the women at the shop last week. Ceaser also did meet with the Black client to smooth things over and make sure everything was good.
Ceaser shows up and immediately notices Bae is not there and is very annoyed by that fact, but you know how a VH1 reality show is. They do everything for drama, and Bae shows up like she said she would. Pooch expertly breaks down how he approaches performing tattoos on darker individuals by not telling them no but by presenting alternatives to specific colors he knows won’t pop on Black people’s skin. BUT, he also admitted that he used to tell his clients something similar to what Bae said to the Black woman last week before he learned to do better.
So again, Bae wasn’t really out of line.
Eventually, Bae and Ceaser finally have a conversation, and it seems like he wants to let Bae go if she doesn’t feel comfortable working at the shop. After a faux tense moment, the two laugh it up, and Bae states that she wants to remain at Black Ink. During his confessional, Ceaser reveals h wanted to fire all the ladies at Black Ink for how they handled the situation, no mention of the men who pretty much did the same thing.
In the end, an overblown situation became a teachable moment for the crew, so Puma’s team-building event turned out to be a success.
The episode has sparked some conversation, with some viewers siding with Bae believing she did nothing wrong while others believe she did too much and did offend the women. You can peep those reactions in the gallery below.
Photo: Johnny Nunez / Getty