Comedian Nicole Arbour is being criticized for a video she posted to her YouTube and Facebook accounts entitled “Dear Fat People” that includes jokes about obesity and claims that fat-shaming is “not a thing.”
“Fat people made that up,” Arbour says about fat-shaming in the video, which has amassed 18 million views on Facebook since it was uploaded there last week. “That’s the race card, with no race.”[facebook url="https://www.facebook.com/NicoleArbourfans/videos/10154221907732907/" /]
In the wake of posting the video, Arbour — who begins the clip by calling out viewers who “are already mad” at what she has to say — was locked out of YouTube and slammed for her insensitive jokes. (Her YouTube account has since been reinstated.)
“Fat-shaming is a thing; it’s a really big thing, no pun intended,” Whitney Way Thore, who stars on the TLC show My Big Fat Fabulous Life and started the No Body Shame campaign said in a video response to Arbour. “It is the really nasty spawn of a larger parent problem called body-shaming, which I’m fairly certain everyone on the planet, especially women, has experienced.”[facebook url="https://www.facebook.com/whitney.thore/videos/10101839871859138/" /]
Other YouTube personalities, including Grace Helbig, also commented on Arbour’s remarks. “She’s a comedian, and she’s sending a message to fat people to stop being fat,” Helbig said her emotional response video about Arbour. “And she goes into these really mean ways of explaining it. […] Nicole, I don’t know you at all. But you seem really smart, and you seem like you have comedic timing. […] It just comes off selfish and mean.”
Speaking to BuzzFeed, Arbour said that despite the backlash she will not take what people say about her on the Internet personally. “Because what they are saying is a ridiculous outrage to a comedy video that has a bit too much truth in the jokes for their personal taste,” she said.
Arbour, who has also received support from some viewers for the video, said the problem arose because a “particular group wants to be immune to satire, while laughing at everyone else.” She added: “We all need to relax, laugh at everyone, and learn to turn off something we don’t like, not try and wipe its existence.”
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