Advice

On exploitation

Is it not racist/sexist to assume that the black women in Lily Allen’s video had no choice and were being exploited? Are we assuming they’re oblivious too? They didn’t seem like they had a problem with it.


Had no choice? No, no. You’re misunderstanding the concept of exploitation in the context of media.

It’s not that the women in Lily Allen’s video were forced to perform against their will. They were free to enter into a contract and be compensated for their work, but then again, it’s not their labor as black women that’s being exploited (although I suppose that argument could be made.)

It’s their image as black women that’s being exploited. It’s a cultural and sexual exploitation that’s going on here, and no, we’re not assuming they’re oblivious to it. That would be condescending as hell.

Still, whether they themselves have a problem with it is somewhat beside the point. Their awareness and consent doesn’t negate the underlying exploitation.

Also, let’s not go too far down the rabbit hole here. It’s not as though Lily Allen committed some fresh and horrible crime. She merely made some poor creative decisions that were unintentionally racist and sexist while remaining oblivious to her white privilege and therefore unapologetic for the exploitation.

This kind of shit happens all the time. That’s kind of the point. It’s all a big hideous clich√©.

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