Actor Malik Yoba has been making headlines after he revealed earlier this month that he’s attracted to transgender women. Since his public Instagram announcement, Malik has been making the press rounds, advocating on behalf of the transgender community while telling men there is no shame in admitting that they, too, are “trans attracted.”
In the midst of his campaigning, a transgender woman named Mariah Lopez Ebony shared on Facebook that when she was 13 and 16-years-old working as a prostitute on the streets of New York, Malik solicited her, and others, for . “I started seeing him personally, with my own two eyes, cruising around the meatpacking district and Village, large black Jeep, looking for Trans fem workers, he preferred black trans girls; pretty, slim girls, but would pick up a latinx if she was put together and/or looked mixed,” Mariah wrote.
The actor has ignored the allegations against him, but has pressed forward in interviews as a transgender advocate. He recently sat down with The Root at their studio to chat with reporter Terrell Jermaine Starr about his career and his recent remarks regarding his personal life. Terrell asked Malik to share his thoughts on Mariah’s allegations, and he denied he’d ever met her.
“I have no idea who she is. I am familiar with that pain, I’m familiar with that trauma,” Malik said. “I’m familiar with people who are crying out for help. I’m familiar with the lack of regard for this population, which is, again, my point. So, when I heard it, for me, to hear something so heinous, right, number one, and to see someone post something with no proof of anything and to see the world embrace it, or a portion of the world embrace it, that toxicity, speaks exactly to the reason I do the work that I do.”
Later, Terrell asked Yoba to address concerns from the trans community that he was speaking on their issues to be self-serving. Terrell also wanted to know what Malik thought about people who claimed that he was fetishizing transgender women. That’s when things took a turn.
“So you an I sat for four hours the other day and we decided how we were going to approach this,” Yoba said. Terrell replied that they went through a number of questions as the atmosphere between the two men became tense. Malik said, “We decided how we were going to approach this…” before Terrell states, “We’re actually recording, and the more you talk, the worse it looks for you.”
That statement triggered something within Malik. “What did you say?” he asked. Terrell repeated himself. Malik then leaned forward and said, “This looks bad for me. Check this out, we done.” The actor then begins to take off his microphone. “Bad for me? Because I chose to come here and speak to you about what you do and what I’ve done? It looks bad for me? It’s a set up. I don’t like this.”
“We said that we were going to focus on policy,” Malik continued. Terrell answered him and stated that they did, but Malik was finished with the interview. “I don’t appreciate this at all,” he said. “I don’t appreciate this sh*t at all, homie. This is not what we f*ckin’ discussed for four f*ckin’ hours…What the f*ck is wrong with you?”
Now off-camera, Malik began shouting at Terrell, who, at this point, was standing and poised for whatever may go down. “We sat for four f*ckin’ hours and you want to stay on some allegations? F*ck you! What the f*ck is wrong with you? This my f*ckin’ life! The f*ck is wrong with you?” Watch it all go down below.