The Most Controversial Moments Of Black Ink Crew Ever

Where do you even start with Black Ink Crew? To recap for fans, the reality TV show, filmed at the Harlem-based location, Black Ink Tattoo Studio, stars David "Ceaser" Emanuel, the boss who runs the shop and manages all of the day-to-day drama and practicalities of running a full staff of tattoo artists. The series premiered in January 2013, and its eighth season premiered in August 2019, per VH1. The successful series has sparked spin-offs, including Black Ink Crew: Chicago (2015) and Black Ink Crew: Compton (2019).

What arguably makes Black Ink Crew so entertaining is the deep connection and history that the cast has with each other. As executive producer Dan Cesario told TVOvermind about first visiting the shop, "We went to check it out, and after sitting on the couch for 10 minutes listening to them crack jokes about each other and the world around them I knew we had something great."

Of course, the show is more than just friends joking with each other, and there has been plenty of drama as well. So with that thought in mind, let's take a look at the most controversial moments from the epic series.

Dutchess Lattimore struggled after leaving Black Ink Crew

Was anyone else totally heartbroken when Dutchess Lattimore and Ceaser Emanuel broke up? Dutchess Lattimore, a tattoo artist who hails from North Carolina, was a key character in the shop, as well as Ceaser's romantic partner, and fans were shook when she up and left the show in 2017. Later, in 2018, she spoke on Sister Circle Live and said she experienced suicidal thoughts after leaving Black Ink Crew. She revealed, "I went through a serious depression. I went through getting harassment from cast members, death threats. They would call my shop and tell my mother the most heinous things that they were going to do to me if I came back to New York."

Thankfully, things have since turned around for Dutchess Lattimore. As of this writing, She lives in North Carolina and runs her own shop, Pretty-N-Ink, with her mother, Crystal Lattimore, per VH1. Not only that but the Charlotte, N.C. radio station, 92.7 FM, announced in 2017 its plans to add a new show, Dutchology, featuring the Dutchess herself. 

So although it was a shock to see her leave Black Ink Crew, it's clear Dutchess is onto bigger and better things.

Who took Ceaser Emanuel's painting?

On Season 8 of Black Ink Crew, things took a serious turn when Ceaser Emanuel's beloved portrait went missing right from the shop, with the supposed the thief leaving a ransom note in its place. Ceaser took this as a bad sign that his flagship shop was slipping into a decline, and so he took matters into his own hands... by firing several people. Um, what?!

In the tense episode, Ceaser sat at his desk in front of his entire staff and either gave people promotions or fired them, per VH1. (It sounds like something out of The Bachelor but without roses or the prospect of a marriage proposal, right?) Everyone had to put their phones in a basket, and when this task was completed, Ceaser said, "Now's the moment of truth. Today is the day I finally break the circle and bring some order and discipline back to 113."

As a result of the firings, Young Bae got the promotion of the lead artist and Walter became the new manager, as VH1 noted. Meanwhile, London and Mike got fired, and other people got demoted, like Tatiana. Talk about drama!

Alex Robinson and Ceaser Emanuel's fight

Ceaser Emanuel isn't scared of a little altercation. But has it ever gone too far? Alex Robinson might think so.

Back in 2018, VH1 cameras caught Alex and Ceaser in a physical fight, which was reportedly a result of built-up tension between the two men. According to TMZ, things finally came to a head at a pre-wedding party, where Alex claimed that Ceaser attacked him, as well as Ceaser's cousin, Teddy Ruks, who supposedly joined in on the melee at one point. TMZ reported that Alex had a big bump on his head after the altercation and the reality star claimed that "the beatdown left him with permanent pain and disability."

But that wasn't even the end of it. Days later, cameras caught Alex rushing to the hospital where doctors informed him that he had "significant tendon and ligament damage to his back."

Alex later filed a $1 million lawsuit against Ceasar and Teddy in August 2019, claiming he couldn't sit and tattoo anymore. 

Ceaser Emanuel is told to get out of his feelings

It's pretty safe to say Season 8 of Black Ink Crew was loaded with drama. One of the most notable conflicts went down between Ceaser Emanuel and Ryan Henry of Black Ink Crew: Chicago. The conflict erupted when Ceaser heard rumors that his ex-girlfriend and former brand ambassador, Miss Kitty, was supposedly hooking up with Ryan, according to Atlanta Black Star.

Per the news outlet, Ceaser even fired Miss Kitty "for her alleged involvement with Henry." During the April 2, 2020, episode, Ceaser and Henry came head to head at a party, where Henry said about Ceaser, "Cesar in his feelings over a women that don't want him... Get out ya feelings man." Eep.

Despite things looking worrisome for a second, things eventually fizzled down without any extra drama. Phew!

If you're hankering for more juicy gossip, take a minute to check out the real reason Black Ink Crew's Young Bae and Miss Kitty stopped being friends.