Comedienne Nicole Arbour Fired for ‘Fat Shaming’ in YouTube Video

Nicole Arbour
Photo Courtesy: Nicole Arbour

September 10, 2105 — (Gephardt Daily) — Canadian actress and stand-up comic Nicole Arbour has been fired over her controversial and explicit YouTube video “Dear Fat People,” in which she attempted to use humor to convince fat people that they should lose weight.

After an outcry from YouTubers claiming Arbour was “Fat Shaming,”her video “Fat People” was taken down and Arbour claimed “censorship.”

Now, as “Fat People” crosses the vaunted 3 million views threshold, Arbour is being fired from a movie job because her director is outraged over the video he calls “cruel and lame.”

Photo Courtesy: Miamifilmfestival
Director Pat Mills. Photo Courtesy: Miamifilmfestival

Zap2it has reported director Pat Mills has said, “[I’m making] a dance movie, so obviously we needed a choreographer. We met with a woman who not only did traditional dance choreography, but was a cheerleader as well. She was fun and nice and had a lot of energy,”

Mills continued, “‘[Arbour told me she] had a YouTube channel and identified as a ‘YouTuber.’ She seemed like a perfect fit for the project. I shared the script with her. She said she dug it and was excited to come on board.”

“I was supposed to get together with her this week for what she called a ‘choreo party’ to watch my favorite dance scenes and talk ideas,” says Mills, the director of 2014’s “Guidance.” “And then a crazy thing happened on Saturday — I saw something on the Internet that made me never want to see her again.”

As it turns out, Arbour’s video runs contrary to many of the things Mills hopes to achieve with “Don’t Talk to Irene,” the film she was slated to work on when it begins filming next month.

“It’s a body-positive teen dance movie set in a retirement home,” Mills says of the plot. “It’s about a 16-year-old girl who dreams of being a cheerleader, but she is constantly bullied for being fat. She learns that she doesn’t have to change anything about herself to be awesome because she already is.”

According to the filmmaker, Arbour’s video really hit home. “I’m gay. I was bullied a lot as a kid,” he reasons. “I am no stranger to ridicule and loneliness.”

Photo Courtesy: Nicole Arbour
Photo Courtesy: Nicole Arbour

“[‘Dear Fat People’] is an unfunny and cruel fat-shaming video that guises itself about being about ‘health’,” Mills says of the clip. “It’s fat phobic and awful. It went on for over for six minutes. I felt like I had been punched in the gut. I was so upset I was shaking like Shelley DuVall in the ‘The Shining’.”

“Bullies like Nicole Arbour are the reason I am making this movie,” he says. “I’m tired of body shaming. It’s everywhere.”

This latest development raises an interesting question. A self-professed comedian/actress like Arbour clearly operates her YouTube channel for self-promotion, and posting a vid like “Dear Fat People” aims at courting controversy that falls in line with the old adage “There’s no such thing as bad publicity.”

But what good is three million views if it gets you fired from the job you aspire to?

“It’s very odd that we live in a world now where people post their opinions on YouTube (to get views), but they cannot say these opinions to our faces,” says Mills. “My film celebrates being different. It celebrates not fitting in. I want to arm teen girls of all sizes with confidence. People like Nicole Arbour strip this confidence away.”

At the end of his statement, Mills directs the YouTuber directly: “Nicole: 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 says. “We will not be working together. You are not hired for ‘Don’t Talk to Irene’.”

But Arbour is anything but apologetic, reports, Arbour feels proud she’s started a conversation about weight, body image and what it means to be a female comedian.

The controversial “fat-shaming” message in the video—which has racked up nearly three million views and spread rapidly on social media—drew swift reactions from YouTube stars, comedians and columnists, who slammed Arbour for apparently mocking those who weigh more than she does.

Photo Courtesy: NicoleArbour
Photo Courtesy: NicoleArbour

Arbour, who has 159,000 YouTube subscribers, maintained that the video is satire and anyone who doesn’t realize that is missing the point.

“I feel it’s really important that we make fun of everybody,” she told TIME, “I think [what] brings us together and unites us as people is that we can poke fun at all of us.”

Much of the criticism of Arbour has focused on her lack of subtlety in discussing fat-shaming, obesity and health. In the video, she says people are entirely responsible—or, as her tone implies, to blame—for their own weight.



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