Rebecca Black's "Saturday" Video Had Sort of a Racist Ending
At first, Rebecca Black's "Saturday" video seems fairly innocent at first. It mocks both her meme-famous "Friday" and Miley Cyrus' disturbing "We Can't Stop." As the video wears on, though, some more astute viewers may notice that people of color get very little screen time, African Americans get even less. Then, in the last 15 seconds of a upper-class white people party video, the teeth come out: a white police office restraining an African American man while white party-goers look on in horror.
Let's dissect this mini-scene, and hopefully that will reveal its relationship to an otherwise mindless piece of white pop entertainment. It is very difficult to understand what African American man says in the clip because the audio of his shouting is rather distorted, but he says something akin to, "Call me Rebecca Black ... I'm sitting in the front cuz I'm sitting in the back. Come on man, it's Saturday!" Then the cop responds, "Come on, let's go Junior." Prior to this we have seen exactly two black party people, one girl plays poker for around two seconds, and a young man dances for another two seconds. So, in a four minute video, there are four seconds of neutral-ish African American appearances, and one ten-second stretch of awful racism. By the numbers, it isn't looking good.
One blogger has speculated that this bizarre ending is a tongue-in-cheek jab at Patrice Wilson, the Nigerian creator of ARK Entertainment, which produced Rebecca's hit "Friday." This theory may hold some weight, since Rebecca makes multiple references to "Friday" (and the song is called "Saturday"). She also sued Patrice recently for copyright infringement.
Even if this bit were a snarky joke aimed at a record executive, it isn't funny. First of all, the lack of screen time for African American people overall is troubling, and since this is the most recognizable moment, this is the one viewers will remember. And when did racism and police brutality become funny? Apparently, when you're hosting an elitist whites-only party, it's a hilarious endnote. Rebecca Black, I think it's time for you to stop making weekend-themed videos.