The video shows Contessa Stuto pretty much topless in the middle of an Election Night party on the Bowery, with a submissive dog-girl yipping wildly at her feet. According to the musician and founder of the Cunt Mafia record and fashion label, there was nothing too crazy about this. “That’s just me in the club anyway,” she explained.
— MOTHER CONTESSA (@CUNTMAFIA) November 9, 2016
When she posted the video on Twitter, Contessa never imagined it would make the front page of Infowars, the hate-espousing, pseudo-news site that helped propel Donald Trump to victory, or that she’d be the victim of what seemed like “millions of negative comments” from followers of “alt-right” conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.
The self-described “big blonde Madonna Italiana from Brooklyn” shotguns a beer and, as it runs down her face, Lexi the dog-girl laps up the dribble from Contessa’s chest. When she’s finished chugging, Contessa yells: “America! Home of the free and the land of the dead!”
“I was just feeling the moment in this skater punk kind of atmosphere– which, in my opinion, downtown New York knows nothing about punk and music anymore,” she recalled. “So I was just trolling the atmosphere and showing them what real punk is, basically, as an old-school New York bitch.”
The video simply captures Contessa relishing in another one of the stunts that she’s known for as a performer and one of the best party promoters around. “My performance art has always been kind of like a wrestler’s,” she explained. “But everyone was loving it, I was the center of attention and it was just so much fun, and then at one point these kids gave me the beer, and they were like, ‘Chug this like Stone Cold Steve Austin!'”
Somehow, the discerning people at Infowars came across the video and wove a casually inaccurate, blatantly misleading yarn, deducing that Contessa was one in a wave of “Leftists In Total Meltdown Over Trump Win.” According to the author-less piece, Contessa’s video “shows just how hard some are taking the Clinton loss.”
America land of made up unfounded opinions that are never fact checked because people to pussy to ask questions, learn,& educate themselves
— MOTHER CONTESSA (@CUNTMAFIA) November 15, 2016
The Hillary Clinton connection is baffling, really: Contessa wasn’t wearing any Hillary regalia, nor was she sporting any anti-Trump signage. She doesn’t even express any explicit political opinions whatsoever. Infowars’ investigation extends only to a visible tuft of armpit hair and “barking dog companion” Lexi’s Tumblr page, where she calls herself a “sassy, queer, cyber freak, witch, virgo, slut, mermaid.”
“She’s Australian,” Contessa explained. “So she finds it extra funny.”
Whatever the bizarre logic that inspired Infowars to label Contessa’s performance a liberal “meltdown,” the repost set off a firestorm of hateful comments. “I’ve seen every type of comment. One minute I’m the face of liberal degeneracy, the next I’m what white America is, and who voted for Trump. It’s just stupidity,” she laughed. “The things people have been saying, it just exposes America, and that’s why I love it.”
Comments range from casually anti-liberal to scary racist. There’s plenty of slut-shaming, “fatphobia” (as Contessa called it), fire and brimstone, and a few comments even call for Contessa to be thrown in a concentration camp:
“Hillary suppoerters 🙂 [sic].”
“they look like the average obama,clinton supporter,her dog looks happy trump won,” before adding that Stuto looked like, “one of bills kids that hillery was been hiding [sic].”
“years of socialism, public schooling and taking God out of the public discourse have created mental ill, demon possessed zombies. the fiery judgement of america is near and trump cannot stop the inevitable outcome when God cleanses the land.”
“We really need to start locking these people up. They are mentally ill.”
“Filthy degenerate Anti-White sluts will be housed at Camp FEMA 5…. Next.”
The thing is, not only was Contessa not a Hillary supporter, “I was telling people not to vote,” she said. “I was just trolling America.”
I didn’t vote for her either lol, y’all buggin peace and love beautiful Bella https://t.co/0qeXh0lmgq
— MOTHER CONTESSA (@CUNTMAFIA) November 15, 2016
Contessa is not exactly a Trump fan, either. But it’s clear that, even if she’d said as much in the video, it wouldn’t have mattered much. Scrolling through the comments on Infowars while sitting in a public place is an exercise in self-control– it’s extremely difficult not to laugh at all the wing-nut insanity, which bears no apparent connection to Contessa, and the ridiculous assumptions about her background. For example: “Perfect representatives of the Clinton/Obamas [.] George Soros’ is FUNDING the riots and looting from #BLM”
“People were like, ‘Go back to Israel!’” Contessa laughed. “I’m not even Jewish!”
At the same time, the level of hatred is frightening, particularly when it’s reserved for someone who hasn’t even stated their political position. All the anger and vilification is based on nothing more than a 38 second video and some flimsy commentary. In reality, Contessa said she was just having fun and responding to the events of election night– which she admitted came as a surprise– the only way she knew how.
“I was already in this post-apocalyptic mood because Trump was winning,” she explained. “But I’ve been speaking about the New World Order. With either one of them that wins, Hillary is the face of globalism, and Donald Trump is the face of nationalism which can turn into fascism. So I was against them both.”
Contessa’s personal Facebook page confirms this. On Election Day, she wrote:
I VOTED FOR GOD (FUCKING MYSELF WITH MY OWN FUCKING FINGERS) AND NOT NAZI HILLARY DEVIL BITCH (WHITE FEMINISM IN GUISE OF RACE WAR AND WORLD WAR AND ANTI-GLBTQ) WHO SHOULD BE SHOT IN THE HEAD FOR OUR SAVIOR JESUS – TRUMP WAS HIRED BY HOLLYWOOD (HILLARY AND GEORGE SOROS) AND YOU’RE THE IDIOT!!!!!!!!!!
The Infowars piece has inspired a wave of related memes like the one she reposted on Instagram:
A photo posted by MOTHER CONTESSA STUTO (@cxntmafia) on
In her view, the election as a whole brought out the worst in people, but internet bullying, which is plagued by sexism, misogyny, racism, and xenophobia, has gone too far.
So far, though, Contessa’s approach has been to either ignore the haters and the barrage of negative comments she’s received, or respond with positivity and love. “Every response I gave on my Twitter was like, ‘mother loves you’ or ‘I still love you’ or ‘come to mother’ or ‘peace and love, my friend,’” she explained. “That would freak people out even more, because it’s way easier to say something negative. And the fact that I’m not arguing with these people shows the level of integrity I have with myself.”
Her tactics are so crazy, they might have worked in some cases. One user tweeted at Contessa on Tuesday:
@CUNTMAFIA if all the haters knew who you actually are, they would straight up be fans. I came to you on that same path and you turned me X
— Frankenstein Sinatra (@FrankstnSinatra) November 15, 2016
Contessa believes that by refusing to perpetuate negativity, she might actually convince people that there are better ways to spend their time on Earth than trolling, photoshopping hateful memes, and spewing misogynist insults online. “I’m changing people’s minds about what freedom means,” she said. “These little girls in Middle America are prescribed to patriarchy so early that it’s like tattooed on them almost. It’s in their skin, they grow up around patriarchy since the day they were born. They’re not told to think for themselves.” Though Infowars is crammed with negative comments (for obvious reasons), Contessa said she’d actually received a lot of praise: “People either loved me or hated me, and those two responses, that’s like literally the foundation of what art is even about.”
It was surprising to hear that Contessa had only recently returned from a hiatus of several months during which she put her music on hold and essentially disappeared from social media. She returned to Facebook around Halloween, and is now preparing to release a new music video, “Anarchy For You And Me.” But she seems to have developed a heightened sensitivity to bullying, and even before the Infowars piece went up, Contessa posted status updates in which she lamented all the neggy vibes.
“It’s really rare that you have a dominant person that’s not here for the bullies. I’m so sick of all the bullying,” she said. “I’m so sick of people coming for Harambe and Trigglypuff, basically I’m here for all the GLBTQ kids in middle America: if someone fucks with you, they’ve got me to answer to.”
After the Infowars piece went up, the video was taken down by Facebook– according to Contessa, she was censored for showing her breasts. It wasn’t the first time this had happened, she explained– she’d been kicked off Vine before the video sharing app went belly up. However, she’s planning to repost the video with blurs.
“America is literally a living reality show right now, America is Celebrity Apprentice,” she laughed. “Energy is what bleeds onto other people. If everyone’s being negative, it doesn’t matter which side of the fence you’re on, it’s just going to breed, breed, breed hatred and negativity. This is why we’re in the state that we’re in right now.”