Popular Youtube vlogger Grace Helbig, aka DailyGrace, made a video this past week called “Halloween Costume Ideas.” In it, she made her usual variety of jokes: funny, based in pop culture, and with a heavy dose of sarcasm. But at the end of the video, she went too far.
“You're gonna find some kind of really platinum blonde or light pink wing. Then you're gonna tan your skin as much as you can-- unless your skin's already tan; then you did it!” She then applies a heavy layer of brozer and self-tanner, making her skin several shades darker than it naturally is. She continues.
“Then you're gonna find some really light bubblegum pink lipstick. Put that on. Then you're gonna find some kind of eyeshadow or makeup that you can put on your neck that looks like you have a hickey. What are you?”
Grace finally reveals the punchline we've all been dreading the whole time.
“I'm Hickey Minaj! Like the singer? But instead of Nicki, she's got a hickey...this might be offensive.”
She then looks straight at the camera, smiles broadly, winces, and says cheerily, “Yep!” Well, you may not be taking it seriously, but you're right on that one, Grace. It is offensive. It's incredibly offensive.
On October 4th, one of your youtubers, Grace Helbig aka DailyGrace, made a video entitled "Halloween Costume Ideas." In it, she gave viewers several suggestions for ironic or humorous costume ideas based on pop culture. However, her last suggestion was called "Hickey Minaj," in which she encouraged people to darken their skin "unless your skin's already tan" and then proceeded to do so.
Grace is a white woman putting on dark makeup to make herself look like a woman of color. Do you know what that's called? It's blackface. Blackface is an incredibly racist form of mockery and degradation. It has a terrible history of being used to oppress, belittle, and shame people of color. To see someone so high profile in the Youtube community taking part in it is unbelievably disappointing.
But that's not all. Not only is one of your employees being racist, but she and you are earning money off of this video, because it is monetized. You're essentially taking advantage of people's racism and ignorance for your own ends, something which I and many other people find despicable.
Please de-monetize this video, take it down, and issue an apology. You should be better than this.