Arts & Entertainment | April 6, 2021 5:12 pm

Michael Rapaport Is Using Kevin Durant’s Hate Speech to Build His Brand

What Durant said via Twitter DM was objectionable. But so too is the publicity tour Rapaport has been on ever since.

Michael Rapaport
Michael Rapaport at Build Studio on November 06, 2019 in New York City.
Gary Gershoff/Getty

Admittedly, by even posting about Michael Rapaport continuing to milk the controversy with Kevin Durant to promote his podcast, we are, in some capacity, helping the 51-year-old actor do exactly that. But given that Rapaport is still making the rounds a week after he revealed private messages containing homophobic, misogynistic and vulgar language that Durant sent him, we’d be remiss not to point out what appears to be going on.

After posting on social media on Friday that he “felt bad” about his involvement in the situation shortly after Durant was fined $50,000 by the NBA for the vulgar messages the actor-turned-podcaster made public, Rapaport joined The Howard Stern Show on Monday to keep talking about the state of affairs he supposedly feels so horrible about.

Rapaport then continued the media tour no one asked for with a stop on FS1’s Undisputed with Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe. While talking with Bayless and Sharpe, Rapaport dusted off the acting skills he’s had so few opportunities to use in recent years while describing what’s been happening to him in public since he outed Durant, who issued the mother of all non-apology apologies last week.

“I went to the dog park with my dog and people … they don’t want to play with my dog Weezy,” Rapaport said while pretending to fight back tears. “And you know, I went to my coffee shop and they said, ‘Not today cupcake,’ and it’s weird, it’s like, ‘Why are you calling my cupcake?’”

Following his appearance on the show, Rapaport let the internet know he was crying crocodile tears while talking to Bayless and Sharpe by posting a clip of his appearance on the show that must be watched until its conclusion.

At best, Rapaport is using the publicity he’s getting to help divert attention away from the fact that he just lost a defamation lawsuit against Barstool Sports seeking damages for Dave Portnoy and co. labeling him as a racist, a domestic abuser and a D-list actor with an STD. At worst, he is actively attempting to use hate-filled messages containing slurs and other profane language that were sent to him in private to help boost his public profile and grow a podcast audience.

The hateful messages Durant sent being made public cost him $50,000, but their exposure has surely gained Rapaport at least 10 times that amount in free publicity. From this point forward, let’s remember what exactly Rapaport is attempting to profit from and stop giving him the attention he so obviously craves but clearly doesn’t deserve.