Saturday, August 13, 2022

Editorial: ‘And Another Thing…The ‘Patti LaBelle Pie Situation’ is Exactly Why Celebrities Don’t Accept Unsolicited Material


*I’m going to keep this real short. But its something I’ve got to get off my chest because I see the writing on the wall.

While I am sure as shyte that Patti LaBelle is appreciative of her fan Mr. James Wright going online on his own volition to taste her pie and show his love for it, and garner a lot of attention for himself because of the video he made; the fact that some media outlets are now trying to get him paid or start some kind of riff with salacious headlines is a perfect demonstration as to why companies such as record labels, literary agencies, and the like do not accept unsolicited material.

Ms. LaBelle, in her generous attempt to acknowledge what her fan did, complimented him on his talent when she reached out personally to thank him for his kind gesture.

But that may have been a big mistake.

Now news headlines create questions such as would her pies be selling as well if not for Mr. Wright’s video? Or is Patti LaBelle Taking Money from James Wright…These are fictional headlines because I don’t want to call out any particular news agencies or journalists, but you get my drift.

I don’t know about you, but I never heard of James Wright before he tasted Patti LaBelle’s pie.

Sounds like an even trade to me.

But in any event, in my opinion, it’s wrong to now put Ms. LaBelle (or any celebrity) in the position to have to defend herself against something she didn’t even ask for. Whether her pies were “flying off the shelf” or not is immaterial. SHE DID NOT ENLIST THE ASSISTANCE OF MR. JAMES WRIGHT and any encouragement by third parties that may suggest this gentlemen should expect compensation is a bust.

I doubt he would have any legal grounds to stand on.

So you need to stop this line of thinking in its tracks now. And stop attempting to make news, where there is none.


This behavior puts any opportunities for true partnerships at risk. As I said at the onset, IT is the reason why agencies do not accept unsolicited material. If Patti LaBelle, who I understand may now be interested in helping this man move his career forward, wants to collaborate with him about marketing her pies henceforth, that is certainly on her. But she should not be forced into something like this because its being fed by an insatiable media appetite.

My name is DeBorah B. Pryor, and I am nothing if not truthful.

DeBorah B. Pryor is a senior editor at EURweb. She also works as an entrepreneur and communications specialist. Contact her at She is new to Twitter, but can be reached or followed there at DeBorah@bleedingheart1k



  1. P needs to realize NOBODY GAVE A FUCK about those pies until
    that video came out! Every Black family got a sweet potato pie receipe

    • you need to speak for yourself…some ppl don’t give a fuk about pie period (then or now) but there are actually some who did give a fuk about the pie!! Obviously James did. He had no idea or guarantee this pie video would turn to such. who do you know walking around here especially in the spring bragging about pie to the masses (rhetorical sarcasm)? SMH…

  2. Dude is right! Patti need to recognize that HE DID HER A FAVOR!
    Tell the truth… Before that video…DID U HEAR ANYTHING ABOUT THEM PIES

  3. James Wright deserves a “thank you” and that’s about it. He didn’t sign a contract with Ms. Patti and she’s not obligated to him. That’s the problem with folks — they always ready to dive into your pocket and feel entitled.

    I’m sure Patti will do fine even if her pies don’t make another dime. At this point, I’m know she’s quite comfortable financially and that this is just a side gig.

  4. I never heard of Patti’s pies until James made the video.. Many of us have heard of him and have heard him sing. She should be grateful because no one cares about her sweet potato pie.. I guarantee you my mother bakes a better pie.. Why should I buy her pie.. James did promote her pie big time and it goes to show you how many people are aware of him because the pies sold out.. Trust me those pies would never have sold out..seems as though you may be the only one who has not heard of him..

  5. He was already compensated when the video went viral. As the author said…

    Okay, he can sing, so what… Millions of people can sing…

    I heard about how good Patti’s pies were from word-of-mouth. Not through the video James made.

    I agree with the author of this article. James does NOT deserve anything except a thank you. Patti did NOT solicit his endorsement…

    People should stop trying to make something out of nothing, and create their own niche’…

    Don’t give him a dime Patti!

  6. First of all I don’t think people really care about Patti’s pies like that anyway. I love Patti but that was very tacky how she refused to acknowledge that the dude put her pies on the map. I even had WalMart employees tell me that they couldn’t get rid of the pies fast enough and some were even expired. She has actually made people not want the pie because most of us can make a better one with less additives.

  7. My friend played that James Wright video for me about 10 times. Prior to the video I had no knowledge of Patti Pies. True, there was no contract however, I’ve done sales that were commission only based. Give credit and $$ where it is due.

  8. All most people want is that she tells the truth, period. She sounds delusional when she says her sales are because of her and she was selling out before. I love Ms. Patti but she is so wrong, call a spade a spade. If a white person lied like this in this situation people would call them on it so call her on it. I guess if she will lie like this with everyone watching somethings wrong with her. I guess she thinks she’s so loved we’ll all accept whatever she says.

  9. White artist help more .. They open a door … They introduce someone to someone .. They appreciate they kindness … And I’m not saying what I think … All I did was return a Wallet and I got free schooling …. She could not down play it !!! That what I didn’t like !!! We have to do better ….

  10. Well said Ms. Pryor. Situations like this point out all too sadly how uninformed our people are about the ways of business. The reality is that James Wright will make money because of his endorsement of a product that he had no part in creating or any contract to promote. I think Ms. Labelle has made it clear that the pies were selling and that was “a blessing” (her words not mine) and then that James Wright’s video was another blessing that she hadn’t expected. She thanked Mr. Wright and has acknowledged her intent to assist him in his career, that is more than she has to do but because of who she is that is what she is doing. This is a sadly trumped up story with no merit other than to generate clicks from less than well-meaning websites. Support Patti Labelle, support black businesses and support James Wright that’s how we get ahead. Finally if James Wright ain’t complaining about anything more than the fact that his phone has been ringing off the hook since the video’s debut, what right have any of these sideline spectators (armchair referees) with no skin in the game to offer word one? I agree Ms. Pryor, these folks need to take a seat (perhaps one in a business 101 class).

  11. What a heard from the video above all else was , ” We need to support black business “. I guess nobody gives a damn about that. Mr Wright should get the same amount that others gets for unsolicited advertising , ZERO !!! How many black entertainers , mainly black rappers , have increased the popularity and profits of many manufactured products like , jewelry , vehicles , clothes , liquor , phones , hair styles , and even the illegal business of narcotics that helps support the judiciary ,prisons and rehab businesses , AND NOT ONE OF THESE BLACK ENTERTAINERS EVER DEMANED MONETARY COMPENSATION FROM THESE BUISENESS FOR THEIR UNSOLICITED ADVERTISEMENT IN THEIR SONGS , VIDEOS OR PATRONAGE . In fact, some of these manufacturer

  12. In fact , instead of a phone call of appreciation some manufacturers responded by commenting that they did not want their product associated with black consumers. But black people keeps giving them your dollars without demanding shit from them. So hooray for Patti and her pies.

  13. You say you never heard of James Wright before he made the video, hell thats Ditto for Patti Pies aa well. Didnt know she even had pies. Pay dude and call it a day. Solicited or not she is still enjoying high sell of her products. Who really wants to argue the value of Mr. Wright’s video??? Thats an easy argument.

  14. Here is where Mrs. Patti was wrong she was ungracious, crass, contrite, just conceited. Yes its her name but when someone uplift you with all her “celebrity” her insecurity spoke louder than her gratitude. By this “editorial” you may have the same insecurity yourself. Celebrity is not a pass in fact too much is given much is expected, therefore her blessings in this all far out ways “her feelings”. It was immature and this article is also immature.

  15. I never thought that he deserved compensation. I did think that compensation would have been the ultimate show of gratitude but that would have been her hearts choice. The real issue is how tacky it looked on television when She seemingly dissed the apparent help the video gave her situation. She didn’t have to act so ungrateful she should have just said thank you like she did to the young man and kept it pushing. Or if she didn’t want to say thank you then she should have just should have said no comment. fans are what makes a celebrity a celebrity and when you paint yourself in a bad light then it affects your stardom. You never do anything on your own. You make it due to your fans. I was a Patti fan but her attitude has affected how I spend my dollars to support her and she did that on her own.

  16. In actuality maybe if Patti was a smart business woman she could have hired someone like James from the beginning and had him do a commercial and she could have left Wal-Mart out of the equation. Wal-Mart did nothing to advertise those pies in the store nor in the media. They sure put the pies on rollback quick. Wal-Mart could have given her a big display before the video but they didn’t do that until after the video. Patti you know better than you are acting.

  17. The author is made!! The problem is not James Wright asking for a check. But Patti Labelle attitude!! Those pies where not selling, but in reality collecting dust at Wal-Mart, going stale and being thrown out because they had past their expiration date!!

    Yet Ms Patti Labelle lied and set it was selling well, before the video and it was all her?

    What James deserve is respect and Patti being so dismissive, has turned many people off.

    If she was smart, she could correct this P/R nightmare. Simple do a commercial with James, sing a little and make it funny… Problem solved!!!

    But to come across as so ungrateful, and it was all her? Once you loose credibility, it never comes back!!! You can lie all you want but truth remains the same.

  18. What you seem to be confusing is the difference in what the laws say and what is right. Legally we all know he won’t get a peace of the pie (pun intended). But morally and what we expect from Patti and Walmart is in this new age in business you need to be socially conscious and responsible. In the end people are going to recognize that he introduced those pies to them and he’s not being compensated. To any normal human being that looks like greed. To reap the benefits of what another person has done and not offer any compensation at all in this day and age it beyond reprehensible. Both Walmart and Patti deserve the negative press. Especially after the lie Patti told about the pies selling just as well before.. no they weren’t.

  19. Wow….if individuals or corporations become obligated to compensate people for unsolicited promotions of their services then Nike owe a lot of people a ton of money. On the other hand if corporations lose money due to unsolicited promotions of their services should the individual be responsible to pay compensation to the corporation? Pattie gave James all he deserved…and that was a simple thank you.

    • We are not talking about every unsolicited response. We are talking about this one because what he did can be directly attributed to the pies success.

  20. I think the reason this became a talking point is when given a television platform, she shrugged it off as if to say his viral video had no impact when we all know that it did. It just seemed snooty and I didn’t think of her that way until the video of her on TMZ so I think that is why people may have a bad taste in their mouth about the situation. Also, James has not said anything negative at all about the experience and has been very humble and thankful for the exposure. He is actually an incredibly talented singer. The platform this gave him and the opportunities he already has received is payment enough!

  21. They are not normal pie size (thus the inexpensive price). Mr. Wright gave the pie notoriety. We don’t know his ‘motivation’ for the social media extravaganza. Was it pride/ego that caused her to defend the pie sales? Meanwhile Walmart is the real winner. Didn’t they sell out and make money in spite of a rumored boycott of black Friday by black folks?

  22. I’m going to state it again. Did any of the black rappers are getting any monetary compensation from any of the products that they unsolicited advertised in their songs or videos ?! Tommy Hilfiger , Timberland , Gucci , Coach , Versace, Cristal , Moet ,Gray goose , Ciroc , BMW , Mercedes Benz , Lexus, and many more Who benefited and all havded made extreme profits from black rappers making their products popular. SO STOP ALREADY WITH MS LABELLE’S BS OBLIGATIONS TO PAY

  23. Personally I had no idea Patti sold pies let alone at Walmart until that viral video! I was surprised to see Patti on Tmz and her response regarding the viral video. Companies pay big money trying to get their products in front of the mases. Why not reward the guy with a few bucks clearly she mad a pretty penny as they were sold out nation wide! #itstherespectablething #writeitoffpatti #christmasiscoming

  24. Never heard of Patti’s pies or James Wright. But then, I never heard of Jared’s big ass before he offered unsolicited advice about how to lose weight eating only Subway sandwiches. Subway elevated him in a big way. How’d that work out for Subway? Patti should have said thank you and kept it moving.

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