After posting the controversial video titled, “Dear Fat People,” Nicole Arbour not only received backlash from other comedians and YouTube personalities, as well as celebrities such as Chrissy Teigen, but it also cost the comedian a job. Arbour, who had previously worked with the Toronto Argonauts Cheerleaders, was hired to choreograph scenes for an anti-bullying, dance film called Don’t Talk to Irene. She has since been fired from the gig.
In a statement to Zap2it, Don’t Talk to Irene director Pat Mills talked about his decision to work with Arbour. “We met with a woman who not only did traditional dance choreography, but was a cheerleader as well,” explained Mills. “She was fun and nice and had a lot of energy.” Mills was planning to meet with Arbour to brainstorm scenes, until he watched the fat-phobic video. “I saw something on the Internet that made me never want to see her again,” he said.
Mills explained that bullies—like Arbour—were the reason he was making the film:
“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.”
“[‘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’.”
Meanwhile, Arbour hasn’t apologized for her video, which includes the kind of dated humor typically found in ‘80s summer camp comedies: “They complain, and they smell like sausages, and I don’t even think they ate sausages, that’s just their aroma. They were so fat that they’re that ‘standing sweat’ fat. Crisco was coming out of their pores.” In an interview with Time, she defended her tirade, describing it as satire. “I feel it’s really important that we make fun of everybody,” she said. “I think [what] brings us together and unites us as people is that we can poke fun at all of us.”
She also appears to be denying any involvement in Mills’s film, according to this recent tweet. Following the incident, Arbour’s YouTube channel was temporarily removed, with some accusing the comedian of deleting the channel herself to gain publicity. YouTube said the channel was mistakenly suspended and reinstated it soon after.
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Image via YouTube.