Nicole Arbour Defends Her ‘Dear Fat People’ Viral Video on ‘The View’ With Varying Levels of Success
On Wednesday, Sept. 16 the controversial Youtube comedienne Nicole Arbour appeared on The View to discuss her ‘Dear Fat People’ viral video that shook the internet and caused everyone from the meanest Internet commenter to Chrissy Teigen to speak out against fat-shaming.
It was a five-on-one interview, and while Arbour didn’t exactly have anything of substance to say, she did manage to defend herself against the five dissenting voices, albeit with a lot of spastic hand waving.
Arbour insisted that the entire video was “one hundred percent” supposed to be offensive, and that it was all satire.
Whoopi cut off Arbour’s flippant comment about her hair, insisting that she answer the question, “Babe, babe, babe, you’re here, this is your shot. So, did you expect to offend people?”
Nicole responded with:
“Yeah! One hundred percent. One hundred percent. That video was made to offend people just the way I do with all the other videos. It’s just satire. I’m just being silly. I’m having a bit of fun and that’s what we did and that topic was actually voted in by fans, some of them who are fat.”
Joy Behar had a response to this argument:
“I’m a comic, so if I’m gonna do a joke about a fat person, I’m gonna say, ‘I’m fat’ first. You’re not fat. That’s the problem. And you sort of hide behind this, ‘Well, it’s not healthy.’ That’s bull, and you know it. You don’t care about their health. Come on.”
The entire segment raised the interesting questions, ‘When is it not okay to make fun of people?’ and ‘Is there a way to make fun of everyone without inciting this much hatred?’
Joy Behar’s comments makes clear that she has an answer to these questions. Behar specifically said that if she wanted to make fun of fat people, she would preface her jokes by saying, “I am fat.” This, according to Behar, makes the jokes less of an attack and creates more of an inclusive, let’s-make-fun-of-ourselves tone.
Behar doesn’t think Arbour’s video falls into this criteria, especially because of the fact that Arbour is blonde and thin. And Arbour’s arguments that everyone should be allowed to make fun of other people fall flat, even as she encourages other people to make fun of her hair and the fact that she considers herself “side-chick Barbie.”
Whether or not Nicole Arbour meant to offend or to satirize, the one thing that’s clear about her viral video is not only how offensive it is, but how tone-deaf its creator is to social mores and decent human behavior. I agree with Behar that there is a way to poke fun without being that mean, and that Arbour’s video doesn’t read as satire at all. I think the tone of the work, and less the content, are what people are specifically reacting to.
Another takeaway from this classic Internet furore is that no publicity is bad publicity. Nicole Arbour now has a larger forum and a bigger fanbase to promote her comedy and her acting, and a stint on The View, as well as HLN and CTV, will only help her star power rise, despite the backlash of the video. Hell—she even got to take a selfie with Sammy Hagar backstage:
— Nicole Arbour (@NicoleArbour) September 16, 2015