Ever since it’s creation in 2005, YouTube has become a place where anyone with a camera can create a video and share it with the world. Unfortunately, many videos are influential for the wrong reasons.
Nicole Arbour, a 30-year-old YouTube video blogger and comedian from Ontario, recently came under fire for a video entitled “Dear Fat People” on October 3rd, in which Arbour spent almost six minutes ranting about her problems overweight people, claiming that people who are obese should not be given special treatment of any kind since they made the choice to be fat among other ludicrous claims. After the release of the video, the backlash was immediate.
The worldwide reaction of the video was universally negative; many people citing that Arbour’s comments were rude and inaccurate, the backlash came from the general public and YouTube community at large. Many content creators showed disappointment in the video, including Chris Thompson and Grace Helbig.
A few days after the video was uploaded, her main channel was taken down temporarily, even though her video technically didn’t break any of YouTube’s guidelines. Arbour later stated “We broke the internet…with comedy” on her Twitter account. Her channel was eventually reinstated, though with no videos. The original Dear Fat People was re-uploaded and now has almost seven million views. After getting her channel reinstated, Arbour almost immediately uploaded a video called “Most Offensive Video EVER“, claiming that her previous video was a work of satire and that everyone deserves to me made fun of. Unfortunately for Arbour, this response did not help her character in the public eye.
Pat Mills director of 2014’s Guidance, had cast Arbour as the role of a choreographer in his upcoming film Don’t Talk to Irene. Mills told Zap2it that when he met Arbour, she seemed kind and full of energy and showed great interest in the script for the directors upcoming film. But after he saw the infamous video, he had a very adverse reaction to it. Don’t Talk to Irene, his latest film, is the story of a young girl trying to become a cheerleader though she is bullied for being overweight. Mills, a gay man who had been bullied for a good part of his life, later told Arbour directly: “Did you even read my script? It is a body positive teen movie. It has a message that is in direct opposition to your cruel and lame YouTube rant” He confirmed at the end of his comments that she had been officially fired from the film.
Though Arbour attempted to defend herself on The View, it may take her a long time to gain respect not only from the YouTube community but also everyone who has watched the infamous video. She continues to upload weekly videos to her channel, One thing we can learn from this story is that freedom of speech can have more consequences and what you put on the internet not only lasts forever, but can be steeped in infamy.