A high school kid started a campaign against Soul Train’s selection of Entertainer of the Year and got some serious shit in return:
- California high school sophomore Rommel Zamora is learning after launching an online petition criticizing the powers that be at Soul Train for selecting Ashanti as their Lady of Soul Entertainer of the Year, an honor to be bestowed on the rising R&B singer Saturday in Pasadena, California, at the Eighth Annual Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards.
Zamora’s cyber-statement drew the attention of TV and radio stations, amassed more than 20,000 virtual signatures (through today)–and apparently prompted a bizarre diatribe from Soultrain.com that dissed the 15-year-old as a “grossly, uninformed moron.”
All in all, more than the kid bargained for.
“I didn’t really take [the petition] so seriously,” Zamora says. “I was bored and I had nothing to do.”
On July 31, the bored Zamora logged onto Petition Online and tapped out a modest (and moderately tempered) 116-word petition, entitled “Better Candidate for Aretha Franklin Award.”
In it, Zamora called the selection of the 21-year-old Ashanti for the Aretha Franklin–the official name of the Lady of Soul’s Entertainer of the Year honor–“an insult to other entertainers who are more deserving.” (His pick to click? India.Arie.)
“Ashanti simply lacks singing ability and stage presence,” Zamora wrote.
The teenager says he told his friends about the petition. He says he figured he and his pals would click enough buttons to maybe crack 100 total cyber-signatures. But then media outlets picked up the item–and thousands of people Zamora never met started logging on and adding their names.
Then Soultrain.com got funky.
In a response Zamora says was sent to him on August 9 from the Soultrain.com’s Webmaster email address, the entertainment site alternately suggested that Zamora’s Internet campaign be called, “I’m a fucking loser, I’m not talented or successful, I don’t know shit about the music industry and I need to get a motherfucking life!!”….