One month in June, a team of young data researchers gathered in the conference room of a Boston start-up called Spotted Risk to talk about celebrities who’d gotten themselves into trouble. Operations analyst Franki Slattery began the meeting by ticking off a couple of updates: Cuba Gooding Jr. had been arrested for allegedly groping a woman at a bar; soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo’s civil rape lawsuit had been moved to federal court.
Other “disgrace events,” as Slattery called them, were harder to categorize. Rapper Lil Xan had pulled a gun on someone at a 7-Eleven over a dispute about Tupac. “They’ve started describing the situation as ‘assault with a deadly weapon,’ ” rather than the standard gun possession, Slattery said. Also, Lil Xan had used the N-word. “Pardon my ignorance,” said Mira Carbonara, Spotted’s VP of commercialization. “Little whatever-his-name-is? Is he African-American?” He is not, but the ethnicity of the victim was unknown. They agreed to log it as a “hidden risk” for future racism.
In other news, Kim Kardashian was going to sponsor ride shares to ferry former prisoners to job interviews. It would be logged as a “cause,” a positive attribute, but was it also “politically outspoken,” a risk? Carbonara decided to split the difference; it was both a risk and an asset. Also on the agenda: The website All About the Tea h