Childish Gambino AKA Donald Glover released the video for his new song This Is America, and blew everyone away with this incredible piece of art. A week later, and 118 million views, people are still discovering the nuanced messages of racism, classism, gun violence and America's original sin, slavery. This is what great art is supposed to do. Make us think, reflect and grow from the experience.
So of course, someone came along and made a mockery of it.
A YouTuber decided to make a mashup pairing Glover's video to the song, Call Me Maybe, by Carly Rae Jepsen. The mashup went viral and the backlash was immediate. People felt the meme video undercut the importance of the original video's message.
The YouTuber issued a non-apology apology on the video's YouTube page, saying:
I just want to make this clear, my intentions weren't to be disrespectful to the message of the song. There's some very messed up things going on in America right now, racism wise. There's no denying it. This is just a shitpost that spiraled out of control. I made it in 30 minutes and posted it to have a laugh with my friends. It's not meant to offend, but for laughter. The original video for TIA caused a great conversation, and still is. But most of the energy surrounding it is negative. I wasn't purposefully trying to be ignorant to the climate we're in, but i think the fact that so many people of all races are enjoying this is something to look at. It's just a meme made to laugh at, nothing else.
Of course with over 3,ooo,ooo million views and advertising that generates income, we don't think the poster is so remorseful they will actually take the video down. This is part of the problem in the new tech world. People are rewarded financially for doing bad things.
To make matters worse, (Because no doubt folks will think, "What's the big deal?") some people, like Kris Cruz from the conservative site The Blaze (created by Glenn Beck) are now using variations of the mashup to undercut and trivialize the serious topics Glover's video brings up.
By making a "harmless joke" out of the original, they are able to water down the message and get people off topic. Glover used his art to create a nationwide conversation, and some conservatives are doing everything they can to shut that talk down.
The original YouTube poster may not have had "bad intentions" but the result is the same, and in refusing to take the video down because it is generating income, they have now become part of the problem.
In the words of the YouTuber, "There's some very messed up things going on in America right now, racism wise."
Yes there are, and videos like yours aren't helping.
You may watch the original video for This Is America below.
But Kruz would rather you forget the vital message and laugh along with these mashups.
People are not falling for the attempt to undermine the message.
That mixing Call Me Maybe with This is America shows me that white folks don't listen. This is America was for y'all asses. He basically gave you the answers to the test and y'all dumb asses still failed.— Lady Hoecakes (@BasedMoonie) May 12, 2018
The call me maybe/#ThisIsAmerica dub is disgusting, shameful, and in very poor taste. This is exactly what that song is about. Not a good look for those who are sharing it. This isn’t about being woke. It’s about stopping for once to listen to those who are hurting. Being human— Typar (@NerdBeanKids) May 12, 2018
YALL REALLY ABOUT TO DISRESPECT CHILDISH GAMBINO’S ARTISTRY AND WHAT THE SONG STANDS FOR BY PUTTING IT WITH ‘CALL ME MAYBE’ ?? SERIOUSLY?— Lilly (@Thechavster_) May 12, 2018
People aren't laughing and they aren't forgetting.
Stop!! Parodying!! This is America!! Do u rlly NEED to listen to call me maybe as you watch a hooded black man being shot in the head? rlly?— Naba Khan (@nabakkhan) May 14, 2018
This is America is a thoughtful, soul-piercing gift and instead of absorbing it and learning to talk about the hopeful progression of society someone thinks it’s cool to demean it by joking it up with Call Me Maybe. Fuck That.— Cal Trask (@caltrask112) May 12, 2018
y’all: This is America is so deep, Gambino is a genius— alexis skaggs Is An Experience (@alexiscskaggs) May 13, 2018
y’all, less than 1 week later: LMAOOO they put call me maybe over the gambino video, I hate the internet 🤣
can’t even be bothered to cut out the graphic display of Black Death but sure, yeah it’s funny— alexis skaggs Is An Experience (@alexiscskaggs) May 13, 2018
Unfortunately, with the huge success of This Is America we don't think the mashups will be slowing down.
turning This Is America into memes is about the most clueless America thing I can think of— ⚪ lena raine ⚫ (@kuraine) May 7, 2018
The fact that yall are making memes and jokes from the dancing and poses in the "This is America" video, just further solidifies Gambino's point that yall pay attention to the wrong shit 🙄🙄— Mahogony (@_Mahogahoe) May 7, 2018
For those interested in learning more about the messages in This Is America the video below is a good source.
H/T: The Daily Dot