Recently Donald Glover, also known in the music industry as Childish Gambino, released a new song called “This Is America,” along with a powerful, moving music video.
The song and music video paint a vivid picture of the way black people are treated in America today. As well, Glover incorporates other social justice conversations into the music video–including issues surrounding gun violence, police brutality, and social media culture.
Many people on social media were praising Donald Glover for this, saying that he’s opened the conversation to a bigger audience and really brought to light the problems that black people have faced in the past–and still face today–living in America.
While the video went viral on social media for the best reasons, many people decided to turn it into parodies and other “social justice” videos. One YouTube comedian, Nicole Arbour, decided to turn the song–and music video–into a “female version.” Meaning, she would showcase how oppressed women in America are today.
— Nicole Arbour (@NicoleArbour) May 13, 2018
The video, however, was a complete and utter flop. Not only is it a mockery of Glover’s work and important message, it’s just straight up a piece of crap. The vocals are awful, the video is painful to watch, and Arbour tries so hard to be a “feminist” and “edgy” that it comes off as uncomfortable and awkward. People on Twitter were not happy with her.
Yep. This is America alright. Black person creates then it’s appropriated.
— TheAndiOshow (@andiosho) May 14, 2018
SO many things wrong with this! And did she just say "prude or ho, what's your pick?" at the 0:43 mark?? Pointing to a woman in a saree for the former? Unfuckingbelievable. #nowords
— Ayesha Noorani (@AyeshaNoorani) May 13, 2018
Basically this: pic.twitter.com/LBHOqpYYzt
— Woke AF Magazine (@WokeAFMedia) May 14, 2018
When do you plan on releasing your Women’s edit of Roots, 12 Years a Slave, Black Panther and Colin Kaepernick?
— Rohit Thawani (@vohit4rohit) May 15, 2018
— Jenni (@JenniRabz) May 14, 2018
The imagery of the original is so specific – targeting everything from racist minstrel shows to police violence. It's GREAT to want to focus on women's issues, but taking this masterful piece of art and reducing it to a mismash of topics and a whole lot of white girl rapping?
— Megan Haynes (@megacts) May 15, 2018
The best thing that can happen is NOT for everyone to create their own version of #ThisIsAmerica. You don’t get to co-opt @donaldglover’s art just because it’s popular right now. Come up with your own idea if you’re feeling this strongly about speaking out.
— Bethany Watson (@RadioBethany) May 15, 2018
Delete this. Delete this, then delete your account. pic.twitter.com/iria3lhmMK
— Chris Evans' Beard (@EvansBeard) May 13, 2018
After receiving a ton of hate online, Arbour decided to issue an apology–explaining why she decided to create the video and apologize to anyone she had offended. She claimed she was trying to “bring light” to situations that many women go through. However, she also claimed that she wasn’t trying to take away from Glover’s original message, just use what she calls “the most impactful piece of art in recent years,” to create another conversation.
All in all, if Arbour wanted to create a powerful statement about female problems and create a dialogue about it–she had every right to–just, not using someone else’s work that was bringing forth another issue in America right now. Essentially, what she did is exactly what Glover was trying to prove through his video–white people look past the oppression and violence against black people and look to them only for their art, dancing, music, and culture. However, they don’t recognize the way in which they are ostracized and almost tortured in America today.
Do better, girl, do better.