YouTube star Nicole Arbour has issued a “clarification, not an apology” after facing criticism for her ‘white women’s edit’ of Childish Gambino’s “This Is America.”
Gambino – the musical alter-ego of actor Donald Glover – released the video for his new single last week following his appearance on “Saturday Night Live” and it became an instant viral hit and a topic of hot debate. The chaotic video touches on many issues that affect the black community in America, including gun violence and police brutality.
Taking inspiration from the powerful video, Arbour decided to release her own version, dubbed the “Women’s Edit,” which aims to examine the experience of women in modern society and focuses on topics such as breastfeeding, date rape and social media.
In the original video, Gambino is seen taking out a gun and shooting a man with a bag over his head – Arbour’s remixed version sees her take out a cell phone and snap a photo of a woman breastfeeding.
The famous YouTuber was quickly met with backlash, with many commenters referring to the video as a “white women’s edit.”
“You truly didn’t understand ‘This Is America’ if your thought process was let me make a WHITE women’s edit version,” wrote one Twitter user. “Please delete and apologize for this atrocity.”
“This is co-opting someone else’s struggle. This is the “all lives matter” of songs,” wrote another.
The 32-year-old Canadian later disabled the comments on her video and issued a statement to explain herself, though did not offer an apology.
“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.
“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.”
One Twitter user responded imploring Arbour to “create something new” if she wants to address issues facing women.
This is not the first time Arbour has faced controversy, in 2015 she posted a video called “Dear Fat People” on social media, where she claimed, “fat-shaming is not a thing.” The video has since been removed from YouTube.