Recently, Childish Gambino blessed us with a musical and visual masterpiece in the form of This Is America. There have been many thinkpieces, tweets and discussion about what all the different layers of the video means and it’s something you can dissect for hours.
But now someone has come along to ruin it for all of us.
Nicole Arbour, a YouTuber and comedian, who got into trouble back in 2015 for her Dear Fat People video, has recreated the viral video with her own feminist twist.
She quite clearly displayed how little she knew about how satire and comedy works in her fat-shaming video, but it looks like she hasn’t learned from the experience and wants us all to know how little she understands about feminism and what the word “parody” actually means. It’s cringe-inducing and the fact that she called this a feminist answer to the video makes me feel ashamed to call myself one.
This video strips away all the brilliance of the original. All the clever references and layers to the music video are gone. There’s no gwara gwara or clever choreography, but rather a young woman simply dancing along to the beat.
It really is a mess. Yes, she makes valid points about the gender pay gap and so on, but she completely ignores the message and context of the original she is apparently parodying. Did this white woman really need to go and take the art of a black man with all its detailed and poignant references to the black community and the struggles they face and turn it into something to suit her own narrative?
She doesn’t get that Childish Gambino’s video already highlights some of the struggles WOC face and that their feminism is inclusive of the larger issues he’s tackling in the video. Was Childish Gambino's work anti-feminist that it needed a feminist edit?
She takes the conversation being held around being black (which includes women and men) in the U.S. and turns it into a narrative that only serves white feminism (and fails even at that) instead of just leaving well enough alone.
It makes me furious. This parody should never have been made.
Watch the video below if you must, but please do go back and watch the original at least 5 times.
Here it is:
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