This Is America: YouTuber defends 'women's edit' of Childish Gambino hit

BBC News
Nicole Arbour/YouTube YouTuber Nicole Arbour has been criticised for her "women's edit" of This Is America

A YouTuber who created a "women's edit" of Childish Gambino's This Is America video says it's been "misinterpreted".

Nicole Arbour describes her post as a "female positive/empowerment video".

She's faced strong criticism online - including accusations of belittling "black pain" and "stealin[g] our culture for money".

Others told her to "stop cheapening black art and creativity" - but Nicole says people are "wrongly portraying this as white vs black".

End of Youtube post by Nicole Arbour

Donald Glover's original This Is America music video was released on 5 May and was praised for its commentary on issues like racism and police violence.

One week later, Nicole posted her own version online.

Many people have argued that her video makes light of "black pain and oppression", as well as "editing out the race issues in favour of the feminist issues."

pic.twitter.com/hgiYA3Z7BN

End of Twitter post by @PlanchatCubana

Nicole Arbour's "This is America" parody is proof white people think black pain & oppression is funny. They're constantly joking about things they dont experience because they lack empathy. They laugh at our pain & deny our oppression, while stealin our culture for money. #Evil

End of Twitter post by @AnimeOtaku1723

I'm sorry, but absolutely not. Get out of here with this mess. We seriously can't have anything or take anything seriously. Stop aligning Black plight with white feminism. Stop cheapening black art and creativity. Just stop.This Is America: Women's Edit https://t.co/nTtbj1ijOg

End of Twitter post by @TheGrapevineTV

Yep. This is America alright. Black person creates then it’s appropriated.

End of Twitter post by @andiosho

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.

End of Twitter post by @aliciaroy605

Nicole responded on social media, saying "this was not the intent or theme at all".

"It was created with every intention of bringing a light to women's experiences," she said.

"It was a tongue in cheek way to give additional glory to what I believe is the most impactful piece of art in recent years.

"Due to the sensitive nature of the original, I understand why some people are wrongly portraying this as white vs black," she added.

A message about the misinterpretation of my #ThisIsAmerica Women’s Edit... pic.twitter.com/tRH0McxzD1

End of Twitter post by @NicoleArbour

Nicole ended her statement with a call for others to "create their own version of this video".

"Through this honesty, I believe we can discover a new level of empathy and understanding for each other."

This isn't the first time a Nicole Arbour video has caused controversy.

In 2015, she uploaded "Dear Fat People", which was called out for fat-shaming.

"That video was made to offend people," she said at the time, addressing the video on US chat show The View.

"It's just satire, I'm just being silly."

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