Tulsa woman Michelle Dobyne has definitely gone viral with her funny interview following an apartment fire that damaged her home a few days ago.
It took less than 48 hours for the Gregory Brothers to Songify her “the building is on fire” and “not todaaaay” lines into an auto-tune pop single, which is admittedly pretty catchy. More importantly, the Gregory Brothers are using the video to promote Dobyne’s GoFundMe page, since she and her three kids are now living out of their car.
It’s great that the Gregory Brothers are helping her out, and the original video is funny - but the online reaction to this black woman who just lost her home could easily cross the line to racially insensitive.
Our host Jay Walker says he finds the whole thing just a bit gross.
“I saw it on Reddit for the first time, and most of the comments were ‘This lady is trying too hard, she’s trying way too hard to go viral, she’s just trying to act like what we think a black lady in the hood should act like, because she wants to get her five minutes of fame,’” Jay says.
“The first two things, I don’t have a problem with. Everyone wants to be famous today. Where I have a problem with it is when people start saying, ‘This person isn’t acting the way that I think genuinely hood poor black women are supposed to act.’ Maybe she’s acting like that because she’s a genuinely poor black woman from the hood, trying to be funny.”
And what if she was purposely trying to go viral? By now there’s a long history of viral videos leading to fundraising campaigns that helped people in difficult situations. Back in November, a British man’s viral Facebook post about Crohn's disease led to a GoFundMe that raised money for his treatments. In another case, a “social experiment” video about a broken-down car unexpectedly led to a homeless burn victim receiving tens of thousands of dollars to get him on his feet again. Can you blame Dobyne wanting a similar response for herself and her family?
What do you think? Was Dobyne trying too hard? Are we a bunch of losers who can’t take a joke? Tell us all about it on Twitter.