Malik Yoba, the actor who is most recently known for his role as Vernon on Empire, revealed last week that he is sexually attracted to trans women. The news was met with support from some of his fans. Many commended him for speaking out and raising awareness, particularly as a Black man, when Black men have often been the perpetrators of violence against Black trans women.
“I want to say thank you all. All the good folks who’ve reached out in the last 24 hours,” he said in a video. “Seeing my name, talking about ‘trans attraction: Malik Yoba.’ So, here’s the thing. We’re human beings, and we’re all part of the guide body, and so, unfortunately, part of our mechanism is that we need to judge and characterize and ostracize and vilify and demonize the things we don’t understand.”
The news prompted one trans woman to speak out against Yoba saying he should not be praised because he paid her for sex when she was still a teenager.
Mariah Lopez Ebony, the accuser spoke out in conviction against Yoba.
“For all who applaud and solute Malik Yoba for revealing he is so-called ‘Trans Attracted’, understand that either because of deeper issues he has or, because of ‘society’ pushing him and others to deep, dark places, his admission to being sexually attracted to Trans women, is bound to open a Pandora’s box for him; not because the women are Trans, but because many of the Trans women he engaged in sexual exploration and exploitation with on 14th Street, Times Square and elsewhere, were minors. Including myself.”
Ebony continued to be very critical of Yoba, and her experiences with him saying, “you always remember celebrity clients. It’s like time slows down. You remember every detail, Blood pounding. He was cute, and polite, don’t get me wrong. But I’m sure he knew what he was doing, was Wrong…..” She recalled. “What Malik paid me to do, as a 13 and 16-year-old, wasn’t love. His ignoring that I was clearly a child prostitute, wasn’t love.”
Last week Yoba posted a video of Maurice Willoughby, a 20-year-old who was being teased for his relationship with his transgender girlfriend Faith Palmer. Willoughby killed himself the week prior as a result of the persistent and relentless bullying. Palmer later revealed that he threatened to kill her too but she let before she was harmed.
Yoba’s post criticized the boy in the video for humiliating this black man over his sexual orientation.