On Tuesday, 19-year-old Mustafa Jafari told a packed Swedish courtroom that he had been kicked, punched, and hit with a bottle during a fight with rapper A$AP Rocky, his bodyguard, and a member of his entourage. “We did not want to fight,” Jafari said through a translator. “I said to them I was a nice guy, not a bad guy. I did not touch any of these three.”
A$AP Rocky, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, has pleaded not guilty to assault charges. His attorney has argued that Jafari was the aggressor, and Mayers was simply acting in self-defense. Mayers has been detained in Sweden since July 3, despite the online efforts of Kim Kardashian, Post Malone, and President Donald Trump, who has not only offered to “personally vouch for his bail,” but also sent US Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs Robert O’Brien to Stockholm for the trial.
That same day, a TMZ reporter followed Machine Gun Kelly, asking him to weigh in on Mayers’ treatment, and suggested that perhaps a boycott would change the Swedish government’s mind. “Would you boycott any of the Swedish products, like Swedish fish?” the reporter asked from off-camera. “Yeah, fuck Swedish fish,” Kelly replied, laughing. “Cancel Swedish fish until A$AP’s free.”
That might be an OK idea if Swedish fish were, you know, actually still Swedish. According to Mental Floss, in the late 1950s, Swedish candy giant Malaco created those signature red fish as a way to get its products on supermarket shelves in the United States and Canada. Malaco already sold different gummy candies in Sweden, but the fish shape was selected specifically for those North American markets. (Why fish? Because Sweden had a pretty big fishing industry. That’s literally the reason.)
Malaco currently sells ‘Swedish’ fish in Sweden, but they weren’t available until after they were launched in the United States and, unlike our version, their fish don’t have the word “Swedish” running the length of their chewy little bodies. (Malaco’s fish are simply called pastellfiskar, which means pastel fish.)
Anyway, our sort-of American Swedish fish are now owned by Mondelēz International, the same Illinois-based food and beverage company that also owns Oreo, Ritz Crackers, Sour Patch Kids, and Chips Ahoy!, among others, so even if the most hardcore A$AP Rocky stans stop buying Swedish fish, it’s 1) probably not gonna do a goddamn thing to affect Mondelēz and 2) it’s definitely not gonna do a goddamn thing to affect Sweden.
If the President of the United States can’t seem to convince Sweden to release Mayers without a trial, then we’re guessing that a half-assed (or even half-serious) suggestion shouted by a TMZ reporter won’t do it either. “[A]ll people in Sweden are equal before the law,” Mikael Lindström, a spokesperson for Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, told CNN. “The Government is not allowed – and will not attempt – to influence the legal proceedings, which are now ongoing.”
The trial is expected to resume on Thursday.