WorldStarHipHop CEO Shrugs Off Ethics, For Success
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

Lee Did you see the viral clip of a young woman getting punched by a full grown man? Which one, you ask? Any of them!

The videos are what makes WorldStarHipHop a success, founder Lee “Q” O’Denat told American Public Media’s Marketplace website.

Ad companies aren’t shying away from doing business with the outlet, which has become infamous for exploiting stereotypes of African Americans and profiting from the worst videoed behavior.

“Advertisers were afraid of us,” he told Marketplace. “We were kind of risque. We had girls in thongs, fights. Not until later on they decided, well, the site is too big. We’re just gonna have to work with them.”

Who are these companies? Fiber One, Walmart and Bloomingdale’s ads have appeared on the site in recent days, Marketplace reports. But it wasn’t clear how much the website makes in ad revenue.

It’s also not clear how WorldStarHipHop measures its success. Founded in 2005, the company has no physical offices. O’Denat, the website’s socialite figurehead, moves between a home in Scottsdale, Ariz., and hotels in New York, Miami and Los Angeles. An unnamed ad sales manager for WorldStarHipHop told Marketplace it’s just “a fast-growing, lucrative company struggling to create infrastructure.”

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Aaron Morrison

Aaron Morrison is an award-winning New York area-based multimedia journalist with a B.A. in Journalism from San Francisco State University. Aaron uses video, audio, photography, the web and social networks to tell captivating stories across all media platforms. Over the last year, Aaron has worked as a general assignment reporter for the Daily Record (Gannett) in northern New Jersey. Before that, he spent the spring of 2010 as the temporary legislative relief reporter for The Associated Press' statehouse bureau in Trenton, N.J. In his down time, Aaron enjoys the company of his friends and extended family. He is a fan of culinary arts and dreams of having a home kitchen so tricked out that Julia Child turns over in her grave.