Mia Khalifa and Gilbert Arenas played a prank on the media on Monday, convincing several outlets that a failed attempt to slide into the former Washington Wizards point guard’s DMs caused a feud between the two.
It apparently won’t be their last collaboration, as it was all a stunt to draw attention to a new daily sports show they’ll co-host, Out of Bounds, on Complex News’ YouTube channel.
Noah Callahan-Bever, the company’s chief content officer, told the Washington Post that the social media presences of Khalifa, a former porn star who now has sports-heavy Twitter and Instagram followings, and Arenas, a three-time NBA All-Star known for his outrageous and often offensive Instagram rants, had a lot to do with the pairing, noting the goal was to create a show “as close to the commentary that is happening in living rooms and on social media as possible.”
He managed to sneak the words “rawness” and “package” into his description of the hosts’ relationship:
How are we going to create a product that is competitive in a sports landscape that is fairly crowded, and create a product that is totally differentiated in its voice? We’re going to have to get people that are totally differentiated in their voice, people that ESPN and Fox would never even entertain putting on their platform, but that are compelling, and that we can demonstrate are compelling. … Just like Gilbert, there is a rawness to [Khalifa] and to the way she talks about sports that I think is going to create a package that cannot be replicated by any of these more mainstream competitors.
Callahan-Bever then admitted that Arenas is basically a clickable-headline machine, which excited him:
When you have that confluence of hyper intelligence and total candor with a proclivity for hyperbole, you end up getting just the best quotes in the world, and he is definitely cut from that cloth. When we did a rough cut, literally from the moment we had a little pregame meeting in the conference room all the way through calling cut, every single thing he said I was like, “Oh my God this will make news. This is amazing.”