Canadian YouTube star Nicole Arbour is being slammed for “whitewashing” Donald Glover’s This is America, a video that tackles prejudice, police brutality and violence against Black people.
Arbour co-opted Glover’s viral visual to present a feminist version that offers ideas about equal pay, sexual liberation and equal rights. However, the tone-deaf video, which like Glover’s takes place in a warehouse, also presents images of violence against women of color. In one scene a woman of color, who is breastfeeding her child, is snatched up by the police. Then in another, a young woman of color is roofied to make a point about rape culture. The comedian failed to realize how her version adds to the conversation about feminism often neglecting the struggles of Black women and women of color in general. Her privilege also allowed her to miss the point(s) made in Glover’s video which references minstrel shows, Jim Crow and the idea that guns have more rights in America than Black bodies.
I’ll just say you should’ve ran this by someone, anyone really. They would’ve told you how tone deaf, opportunistic and really ironic your video is. RIP to your mentions smh
— RichHomieScon (@mbcuda) May 13, 2018
“I hope people won’t take this the wrong way,” Arbour said in the video. “They probably will, but f*** it I tend to offend people, I’m dealing.”
Ok but you selected the term edit as in you are editing out the race issues in favor of the feminist issues. This didn’t feel like an extension of a conversation it felt like reframing to suit a new agenda.
— Balaskan (@aliciaroy605) May 13, 2018
This isn’t the first time on of Arbour’s videos has drawn in controversial reviews. In 2015 she shared Dear Fat People where she was accused of fat-shaming resulting in the clip being removed from YouTube temporarily, according to CNN.
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Christina Santi is a news and culture writer for EBONY.com. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, she considers herself a well-read, not so traditional feminist with a heavy interest in music, fashion and pop culture. Christina currently lives in New York City, where she refers to her Cuban & Jamaican descent often while writing about her experiences as a first-generation Afro-Latinx in America. She also devotes time writing personalized reading material for her tutees and turning ideas into words for streetwear brand, PUER By Noel Bronson.