YouTubers Niki and Gabi apologise after backlash to 'ignorant' Normani lookalike video

3 September 2019, 16:56


By PopBuzz

"I think Gabi and I truly were ignorant to the situation because it didn’t even cross our minds." The popular YouTubers faced criticism for a recent video where they dressed as celebrities and went around a college campus doing skits.

YouTube personalities Niki and Gabi DeMartino have apologised after a recent video posted on their shared YouTube channel garnered criticism over its depiction of singer Normani. In the video, titled "Going to College Dressed As Celebrities Challenge", Niki, Gabi, their older sister, Alex, and a friend named Dennis dress as Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, Camila Cabello, and Normani, respectively.

The video sees the four participate in a number of skits where they act out stereotypes associated with the stars they are dressed as. For instance, the Camila Cabello lookalike was shown engaging in over the top PDA with a Shawn Mendes actor (which some fans are also calling out).

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Satire is often a tricky art to master and it appears the depiction of Normani did not sit well with some viewers.

At around 8:05 in the video, the Normani and Camila Cabello characters have a "fight". This is likely playing into years of rumours that the pair did not get along while in Fifth Harmony.

Viewers also objected to Normani being played by someone with "masculine" features. Depicting dark skinned black women as "angry" or "masculine" is a problematic trope that has long dogged successful black women.

When informed of the stereotypes, Gabi said that she was unaware and that the situation wasn't "that deep".

Viewers called out the optics of the video and explained why it might be perceived as harmful or problematic.

Eventually, Niki admitted that they were "ignorant" to the stereotypes.

And Dennis, who portrayed Normani in the video, also apologised for causing any offence.

What do you guys think of the portrayal of Normani in Niki and Gabi DeMartino's video?