Critics said parody clip made fun of "black pain and oppression"
A YouTuber has issued her response to criticism over a Childish Gambino parody video.
Comedian Nicole Arbour, whose YouTube channel boasts over 400,000 subscribers, recently posted a ‘Women’s Edit’ of Gambino’s viral ‘This Is America’ video, a politicised clip that addressed gun violence and race relations in the US.
Arbour’s take instead focussed on gender inequality in America, with lyrics like “This is America, don’t catch you climbing up / Because they’ll get you slipping up”.
After originally being uploaded last weekend (May 12), Arbour’s clip has been met by much criticism online, with some critics describing it as “proof [that] white people think black pain & oppression is funny”.
“Stop aligning Black plight with white feminism,” one tweet read, while another Twitter user added: “Yep. This is America alright. Black person creates then it’s appropriated.”
Arbour has since posted an open letter, addressing the “misinterpretation” of her video.
“The purpose of my rendition was to honour the spirit of the video which absolutely moved me, by adding my and many women’s life experiences and truths to the brave and brutal truths expressed in the original,” she wrote.
“It was created with every intention of bringing a light to women’s experiences… a tongue in cheek way to give additional glory to what I believe is the most impactful piece of art in recent years.”
“In retrospect, due to the sensitive nature of the original, I understand why some people are wrongly portraying this as white vs black. However, this was not the intent or theme at all,” Arbour added.
“I firmly believe the best thing that can happen in America and North America right now is for everyone to create their own version of this video and show what life is like from their side. Through this honesty, I believe we can discover a new level of empathy and understanding for each other that will ultimately and finally lead us to healing and unity that is desperately needed in society.”
Read her response in full below:
You can see Childish Gambino’s original ‘This Is America’ video beneath:
Sign up for the newsletter
Donald Glover – aka Childish Gambino – recently revealed that he avoided the internet after his ‘This Is America’ clip went live.
“Some friends have sent a couple [of the opinion pieces in response], but, for real, I haven’t been on the Internet since [it came out],” he said on Jimmy Kimmel Live.
“It’s bad for me. I’m really sensitive. I see one negative thing, and I track that person down. I go to their Instagram and be like, ‘You’re not so great. That baby’s not even that cute!””
Meanwhile, there has been speculation that Glover’s next Childish Gambino album could be his last release.