Twitter is not happy with YouTube star Nicole Arbour’s remake of Childish Gambino’s hit video “This Is America.” The Canadian Internet celebrity chose a song that hits close to the African American community and quickly drew cries of cultural appropriation. As “This Is America” highlights issues found mostly within black communities, Nicole’s version that was to draw attention to issues with women quickly drew fire. It has not gone without notice on social media networks that Nicole Arbour is caucasian and sports blonde hair, a fact that only added fuel to the racial fires her video ignited.
Arbour released her video edit on May 12, 2018, and the Internet has blown up ever since. On May 15, she released a statement calling for clarification on her attempt to bring greater glory to Childish Gambino’s video and called the backlash against her a misinterpretation.
Some referred to Arbour’s video as a “White Woman’s edit” and pointed out that when black America creates something, it doesn’t take long before a white person culturally appropriates it.
Though Arbour referred to her video as an edit, others have slammed her calling it a “White Woman’s ripoff.”
You may see the original version of “This Is America” by Childish Gambino and Nicole Arbour’s version in the video player below.
Comments slamming Arbour came fast and furious and although the video has more than one million views, the negative response prompted Arbour to disable comments on the video.
Childish Gambino’s original version has more than one-hundred million views and immediately landed on the YouTube trending charts after its release.
The outrage against Arbour hasn’t been filtered and though Americans fired back at her and demanded an apology, she hasn’t issued one.
— Nicole Arbour (@NicoleArbour) May 15, 2018
Instead of saying she was sorry, she released a clarification statement where she not only defended her “edit” but encouraged people to create their own videos sharing their points of view of their personal struggles.
It seems clear by those who have taken issue with Arbour’s work is that it is not a true parody. Instead, many feel that Childish Gambino’s video addressed life and death situations black Americans face and she co-opted the work. This wasn’t a parody, but many feel she took Gambino’s art to appropriate it for another message.
What do you think? Do you feel Nicole Arbour crossed a line with her video edit? Do you think this is a parody video or a misuse of someone’s art? Should Arbour issue an apology even though she issued a clarification statement?