Popular Culture

Jimmy Kimmel Pokes Fun at Hipster Brooklyn in ‘Do The White Thing’ ft. Zooey Deschanel


It’s no secret that Brooklyn has changed almost unrecognizably over the past couple decades. What used to be an outer borough characterized by diversity, gang violence, and poverty has now become a gentrified, kale-infused hipster paradise. Jimmy Kimmel spoofed that change by filming a “sequel” to the now-classic 1989 Spike Lee film about Bed-Stuy, Do the Right Thing. Behold: Do the White Thing, starring Jimmy Kimmel and featuring Zooey Deschanel.

Jimmy Kimmel introduced the video by highlighting one of the most obvious differences between 1989’s Brooklyn and the Brooklyn of 2015: “Do The Right Thing came out in 1989 and Brooklyn has changed a lot since then. There used to be muggers right in this neighborhood stealing old lady’s purses. Now those old lady purses are being worn ironically by hipsters in the area.”

Oh, how true that is.

In the hysterical 4-minute “movie,” Bedford-Stuyvesant has transformed into a hipster-infested neighborhood, where kale, gluten-free everything, and thrift shops now reign supreme. One character spoofs Do the Right Thing‘s Radio Raheem, appearing as a record-toting hipster named “Vinyl Raheem.” Zooey Deschanel appears as a thrift-shop-obsessed local, who shouts “Trigger Alert” when someone is mean to her.

In the midst of this kerfuffle is Jimmy Kimmel, playing an old-world pizzeria owner who refuses to incorporate gluten-free crusts and quinoa (pronounced “queen-wah”) into his menu.

“This would never happen in the Bronx,” Kimmel’s character laments with longing as the hipsters in his neighborhood start sorting through the trash, eager to recycle.

Lisa Lo Paro
Lisa is a freelance writer and bibliophile living on the outskirts of New York City. She likes 2 a.m. with a good book, takes cream in her coffee and heavily filters her photos. Check out her blog The Most Happy, her Instagram, and Twitter.

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