Jonathan Majors Is Compared to Dana White Because of Abuse Allegations

Some speculate the two men are treated differently because of race

jonathan majors on the today show
Jonathan Majors during his appearance on the "Today" show in 2023
Nathan Congleton/NBC via Getty Images

In the Venn diagram of Jonathan Majors and Dana White, there isn’t much overlap. One is Marvel’s latest golden child who’s cultivated glowing press around his quiet sex appeal; the other is president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship with a neck like an oak’s trunk. But in the days since Majors’ arrest Saturday in Manhattan on suspicion of alleged assault, fans have found reason to compare the actor to White, who received little backlash after he was filmed slapping his wife on New Year’s Eve. 

Some aired their frustrations online, claiming Majors, who is Black, has gotten considerably more negative attention in the two days since his arrest than the white UFC president got altogether. “I wonder whyTE,” Bishop Talbert Swan wrote on Twitter.  

A YouTuber known as Nix shared his opinions on the matter in a seven-minute video titled “Jonathan Majors vs Dana White media narrative.” “This brother’s just started hitting his stride,” Nix said of Majors in a voiceover. “Maybe he did it, maybe he didn’t do it. Who knows? All I know is, I don’t care. Because if we’re gonna give Dana White a pass […] then fuck it, [Majors] gets a pass. Don’t have a problem with it because he’s a big, hulking Black man.” 

But several Black women have pushed back against the comparison. “Every day y’all prove you don’t want equality, you want to be treated like white men,” wrote one Twitter user. YouTuber Yanie responded to Bishop Swan’s tweet saying, “Comparing villains is just always weird to me,” adding “two wrongs don’t make a right.”

It’s true that, aside from apologizing in a TMZ interview, White seemed to experience few repercussions for the altercation with his wife. His career is unchanged, police may never have been involved and the story blew over pretty quickly. It’s too early to know how this incident will impact Majors, but already the consequences appear harsher, given his arrest and the amount of media attention it’s received.

While there are many layers of outrage in a story like this, those who frustratedly compare Majors’ treatment to White’s make an important point. Racist scapegoating is an entrenched weapon of the United States judicial system, often wielded to uphold the myth of feminine virtue and virginity — constructs that ultimately hurt women, too. For decades, whether it was by lawless local mobs or bona fide judicial bodies, Black men and boys were brutally punished for serious sexual crimes they often didn’t commit and petty “crimes” they maybe did, such as speaking to a white woman in public. That unreckoned-with legacy means Black men and boys today are stereotyped as sexually predatory and especially dangerous to white women. And because there were 2,300 inmates per 100,000 Black men and only 392 inmates per 100,000 white men as recently as 2018, it’s not a stretch to say Black men are disciplined more harshly for crimes of any nature, gender-based or not.

As it happens, lawyers for Majors said the woman who claimed to be attacked two days ago has now recanted her statement. Majors’ lawyer Priya Chaudhry said the woman, who was taken to the hospital with minor injuries to her head and neck, was in the midst of an “emotional crisis” and that forthcoming video evidence of the altercation, which took place inside a vehicle, will prove Majors’ innocence. 

In reaction to the lawyer’s statements, YouTuber Nix seemed to imply that the woman in question shouldn’t have said anything at all because Majors is Black. “She recanted her story, so what does that mean?” he asked. “Well the damage is already done. Guilty or not guilty, it doesn’t matter, man. People already look at you a certain way when you’re a certain color, so what was the point?” 

But the truth is, powerful men — in particular, men who make their organizations a lot of money — regularly get away with abusing women, regardless of their race. Our culture values a man’s reputation more than a woman’s bodily autonomy, and it’s partially this attitude that keeps many women from reporting domestic abuse or assault. And while the Majors of the world will get both positive and negative major media attention, abuse suffered by Black and Indigenous women is consistently overlooked and underplayed. It seems no matter how far we’ve come, women’s bodies will always be mere collateral under a white supremacist, capitalist patriarchy.

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