‘Black Ink Crew’ Recap: Ceaser & Teddy Confront Bae over Tattoo Controversy + Expert Steps In

black ink crew season 9 episode 14
Photo Credit: VH1/YouTube

Puma breaks down things from the client’s perspective. 

After the tattoo competition, Young Bae returns to the shop and learns from Puma that the client said she didn’t have a good experience. Although Bae never said it specifically, the client felt like she was basically told that she couldn’t get a full-color tattoo because she’s too dark. Puma and others explain that dark-skinned people deal with unfair situations. And some can be self-conscious about their skin tone. 

So even though Bae only wanted to warn the client that certain colors could fade on her skin, there was a better way to relay this message. The whole point of the Black Ink brand is to be a service tailored to black people of all shades. 

Bae is upset because she never intended to offend anyone. In her opinion, she wasn’t even thinking about race, just the tattoo. 

The competition was a failure even though there was a winner.

After Bae storms out of the shop, Vanity says she understands how the client feels. But if she felt Bae was out of line, she would have stepped in at that moment. Full-color tattoos are something that she and others artists at Black Ink don’t feel comfortable doing. 

Even Krystal admits no one else had the courage to do the tattoo but Vanity. Everyone else “chickened out.” And Krystal only feels confident doing black and grey tattoos. Vanity then says she wasn’t all that confident about it either and she wouldn’t normally do that kind of tattoo at the 125th shop. In fact, if it wasn’t a competition going on, she would have referred the client to an artist that specializes in full-color tattoos. 

As for Puma, he says it would have been better for them to be honest. If no one felt confident enough to do the tattoo the client wanted, they should have told her they weren’t equipped to do it. And other artists may be a better fit.

Regardless, the men won the competition. However, this is nothing to celebrate because both clients complained about their experiences. 

Spyder finds out what’s causing his chronic pain. 

Teddy meets up with Krystal in the studio. He wants them to work together so Krystal can put out her first song. But he wants her to take some choreography classes first after she fell off the stage during her performance at his artist showcase. 

Spyder and his wife Desiree go to another doctor to see if they can finally find out what’s going on with him. He’s told that he most likely has a medical condition called Trigeminal neuralgia. And while there isn’t a cure, there are different forms of treatment to make the pain less intense. He may have to get brain surgery. 

This news causes Spyder to break down in tears but Desiree assures him everything will be fine. They just have to take it one day at a time.

Teddy and Ceaser are disappointed in Bae.

Ceaser returns from his Costa Rica vacation and he and Teddy receive an update about what happened at the Battle of the Sexes competition. Both feel like it’s absurd that there are artists at Black Ink who don’t feel comfortable doing full-color tattoos on dark-skinned people. For Ceaser, the whole point of creating Black Ink was so black people could finally have the tattoos they were always told they could get because they were too dark. 

Teddy plans on talking to Bae. He wants her to understand that just like she told them they can be insensitive towards Asians, what she said was insensitive to the black woman who came into the shop for service. So respect and sensitivity go both ways. 

Ceaser says he wants every artist there to know how to tattoo dark-skinned clients. And he knows a legendary tattoo artist named Pooch who can show them how it’s done.

Bae and Teddy talk about what went wrong. 

Tati and Krystal go out for drinks. They discuss what happened recently during the competition. In Tati’s opinion, Puma was too harsh on Bae. And he should have been careful with his words because society tends to be more sensitive about certain topics. As for Krystal, in a green screen interview, she understands Puma’s perspective because Black Ink was created to be the place all people of color could go for high-quality tattoos. 

Teddy and Bae catch up. He asks her what happened at the shop the other day. She says she doesn’t believe she told the client that she was too dark-skinned to get a full-color tattoo. But she realizes her wording may have been offensive. And she doesn’t want to hurt anyone. 

Teddy tells Bae that it’s always said in the tattoo industry that dark-skinned people can’t get full-color tattoos. And this is offensive. Regardless, he knows Bae isn’t racist. But she has to be careful with her words and be more understanding of other communities like she called for the crew to do for Asians. 

Pooch is ready to help. 

Ceaser is planning a meeting. And even though Bae is upset about everything, she tells Teddy she plans to show up.

Luckily, Ceaser’s meeting with the dissatisfied client goes well. He apologizes for what happened. And she graciously accepts his apology. He calls Pooch to ask him to fly out to New York to teach his artists how to do color tattoos on dark-skinned clients. Pooch is happy to help.

Spyder gets an MRI done. He’s nervous about the results but he’s happy to have Desiree there to support him.

It’s a teachable moment at Black Ink.

Pooch comes to the shop to tattoo a client and show the artists how to do color tattoos on darker skin. He warns them not tell ever tell a client no. Instead, give them options. He believes in mixing colors and using highlights to give dark-skinned clients as close to their vision of a color tattoo as possible. Everyone is impressed by his work.

After Pooch wraps up, Bae and Ceaser go outside to talk. Ceaser says it seems like Bae has been avoiding him since the incident. She says she just needed some time to process everything because she was so hurt. She never intended to offend anyone. But she wants to stay at Black Ink and Ceaser wants her to stay there, too. 

Overall, Puma’s team-building exercise ended up being a success. And Ceaser is happy to know that Bae and others want to get better.

What are your thoughts on the episode?

2 of 2Next


  1. I’m really disgusted with this show and the fan base. And it was disturbing how Bae walked out the shop while a dark skinned black man tried to explain why the black woman was offended. Then to top it off I see all these black people defending Bae saying she can’t be wrong because her baby daddy is black meanwhile they are bashing Puma and the client…you know, actual black people. Whew.

    1. They look silly defending Bae because she and every artist there that day were very unprofessional. Krystal refused to participate, the other Asian artist was too busy trying to hook up with some guy there, Bae just walked out before the session was over, and the tattoo Vanity did wasn’t good. Bae may have had good intentions, but her refusal to hear what Puma and the client had to say was hypocritical considering all the preaching she’s done about ignorance towards Asians.

  2. This show is weird. Why are Bae and Puma even there when they own their own shops? Dark skinned people are always told to shut up and stop being sensitive whenever they speak up about anything. So the reactions online aren’t surprising. Lastly, if Black Ink actually had a black female tattoo artist, she could have explained things in a way that made the client comfortable. If Black Ink is supposed to be about providing black people a service they can’t get everywhere, why are none of the female artists black?

  3. All three of you are wrong,Bae was only consulting and just told the young lady, that the colors she wanted wasn’t right because they would fade. I went through the same thing with my first tattoo and I understood what the tattoo artist was saying and wasn’t hurt with his wording. By the way I’m not as dark as the young lady that was in the show. People just need to stop being sensitive when being told things that they need to know and can’t. Bae did her job consulting the young lady in the design and coloring, maybe she could have said it differently, but like she said she was only thinking about the tattoo. Its a show and stop being so serious,they do show what they want you to see.

    1. They aren’t wrong, you’re just like most people and don’t care enough about dark skinned peoples feelings because colorism is something you embrace subconsciously. Anyone with common sense and no racial biases understands those clients did not get good service. Bae needs to learn how to tattoo black people of all shades. If a tattoo artist is telling you that you can’t have certain colors, they’re not that good. But y’all have been overhyping Bae for years now. All it takes is a nonblack woman being a cringeworthy caricature and y’all will defend them with your lives. Eww.

    2. Umm no. There’s literally tattoo artists out here who specialize in tattooing people with dark skin. And one method used is called color theory. Ryan Henry even discussed this. I knew Bae didn’t know what she was talking about when she asked why the client had red tattooed on her. I’ve seen dark skinned people with beautiful full color tattoos that included reds and greens. You’ve just embraced one of the most racist elements of the tattoo industry. Do better.

    3. If you’re not as dark as the client, why are you downplaying her perspective? Y’all don’t have the same experiences and you’re actually being insensitive. Ask yourself why you feel you have the authority to dismiss a dark skinned woman’s perspective when you don’t have the same experiences. And ask yourself why you have empathy for Bae, an Asian woman, but not a dark skinned Black woman.

  4. Young Bae is the typical tattoo artist who has no clue how to do color tattoos on dark skinned people. And the fact that no one wanted to tattoo the client but Vanity is absolutely rooted in colorism. They saw her complexion and wanted no parts. This is what happens when none of the women “working” in the shop are black.

    1. I caught that too! From the moment they saw that woman they knew they didn’t want to tattoo her! This happens all the time! A lot of artists even the black ones won’t even include dark skinned people in their portfolios! Spyder should have been called out too!

  5. Bae was being honest with her consultation. The client simply took what she said totally out of context to make it seem racist. Puma didn’t help.


    I’m also tired of people trying to make something racist or colorist(the new terminology on the block).


  6. No Bae was not honest, she’s ignorant to all of the different tattooing methods and so are most of the viewers who are defending her. Puma took up for a black woman like he should have. Her feelings matter and she deserved so much better. Kudos to Ceaser for bringing in someone with the experience Bae clearly lacks.

  7. Dark skinned people can absolutely have beautiful and long lasting full color tattoos. I’m honestly not surprised at the comments on the socials from Black Ink Crew stans who are ignorant and colorist. These are the same people who defended Sky for years.

    @ Shannon, thank you for bringing up Ryan. If anyone is interested in learning more about how to properly tattoo full color on dark skin, Ryan has a great video about it on YouTube. Too many artists and black people are ignorant about this topic. Y’all are always finding ways to tell dark skinned people they are too dark to do and have things. Rid yourselves of that plantation mindset please.

    1. Don’t forget the time when the Black Ink Chicago fans agreed when Lily told Charmaine she was blacker than her because she’s from the hood and Charmaine is not. Oh and they also defended Lily calling black people the n word. Unfortunately there are a lot of problematic and anti black people in this fan base.

  8. I have no problem calling people out when they label something as colorism when it’s not, but yeah, this didn’t sit well with me either. This is one of the few times Ceaser, Teddy, and Puma were right.

  9. Colorism is the reason why dark skinned women are dragged, told to shut up, and labeled as too sensitive when they choose to speak on their perspectives. Society has made progress with addressing homophobia, racism, misogyny etc. but colorism is something people don’t want to acknowledge or let go of. We see it every season on multiple shows and social media daily.

  10. Bruh it’s like the Twilight Zone. On any given day we all can see and acknowledge how unprofessional the Black Ink artists are. How the f-ck did anyone watch the last two episodes and think Bae was professional? That consultation was sh-tty from jump. And the men did equally as bad. They just slid under the radar because their client didn’t complain to Puma.

  11. Young Bae really just summed up what a lot of these so called non-black BLM supporters are. They’re supportive until you call them out for being insensitive. I was fine with how she handled the client because I get that not all tattoo artists have the same methods. Some know how to tattoo color on darker skin, some don’t. But she rubbed me the wrong way when she wouldn’t even try to listen to what Puma was saying and walked out while he was speaking. Mind you she called out the group for making racially insensitive comments and they were receptive. They didn’t play victim. Now she’s playing helpless victim and making Puma out to be the bad guy when he’s entitled to call her out because he’s a dark skinned man who has to deal with biases towards his complexion everyday. I can’t help but wonder what some of these Bae supporters would have said if it was a light skinned black woman ie. Gizelle/Robyn who did this. Y’all are real selective when it comes to this stuff.

  12. It’s also very alarming that we watched a group of non-black women make a dark skinned woman feel like she can’t have certain tattoos because she’s dark and you have a good chunk of the fans fine with this but bashing the black client and black men who validated her concerns. I thought there was a protect black women movement happening. Or are dark skinned women not included or worthy of protection and support? How shameful.

  13. I’m old school and was taught to live by the golden rule. So if I offend someone, even if it’s unintentional, I’m going to apologize and try to learn from it. It’s important to always have empathy. I don’t like how defensive Bae was. She wouldn’t have liked it if she got that energy from the group when she told them they offended her with their comments about Asians.

  14. I think some people are siding with Bae because black people are really comfortable saying dark skinned people are too dark for things like wearing red lipstick, getting tattoos, wearing blonde hair, wearing certain colors, wearing straight wigs and weaves, wearing certain makeup/nail polish, going to the beach…going outside for a long period of time…I mean I can go on. A lot of us don’t see an issue with colorism or even realize that a lot of what we say and do is colorist. When we try to talk about colorism, a lot of so called pro black people start speaking exactly like racists. It’s sad. This issue is bigger than Bae. I don’t expect her to understand but it’s crazy seeing how many black people still don’t get this.

  15. Surprisingly, Teddy had the most common sense and mature outlook. It’s pretty simple, since Bae has spent the last several episodes talking about racism towards Asians and how people need to stop being racially insensitive towards Asians, she needs to keep that same energy with black people. That woman was offended. She came to a black owned shop just to be told that her skin tone didn’t allow her to have the tattoo she envisioned. That should never happen, especially at a black owned shop. All Bae had to do was apologize to the woman and make an effort to understand. Instead she sulked and acted bratty.

  16. WTF I WANT TO KNOW IS WHY TF DO OUR SHOW producers FEEL OBLIGATED TO GIVE ANY OF THESE “OTHERS” A freaking Platform on OUR SHOWS!!!! Every Freaking time we Get Something H!spanics Or A$!ans Feel that we are SUPPOSED to include their MF AC£s!!!!

    TEDDY AND “SOGGY LOOKING P○SSI£ LIPPED” CEASAR are Haters of Black Women!!!! They Display that EVERY Chance that they get!!!! Especially Special Needs AC£ Teddy!!! There’s NOtta One Dark Sistah on ANY of the these Black ink Franchises!!!!

    BOTTOM LINE….YB’s Butt NEEDs to GO!!!!!

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