Dear Fat People: Nicole Arbour loses her job over ‘fat-shaming’ video

'Dear Fat People': Nicole Arbour loses her job over fat-shaming video

As the conversation around her video “Dear Fat People” grows more and more heated, YouTuber Nicole Arbour continues to defend it as satire, not fat-shaming.

Nicole Arbour, whose video Dear Fat People made headlines when it was published last week, told TIME she did not regret her comments, which included comparing the #bodypositivity hashtag to “#methlove” or “#teamsmokers”.

“I’m not apologising for this video, but if someone got something from it, then that’s great, fantastic,” the 30-year-old said. “Comedy with a message, let’s do it.”

Arbour added that, as a comedian, she valued free speech in satire.

“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.”

The Dear Fat People video, which has been viewed over three million times on YouTube, involves Arbour speaking solo to a camera about how fat shaming is “not a thing”.

During the video, Arbour tells the story of how she was forced to swap seats with a “disabled passenger” on an aeroplane, who was obese. She was then seated next to the passenger.

“I actually took his fat and I pushed it into his seat, and I held it,” Arbour said, while comically miming the exchange.

“He was fine, he was just fat.”

Two days after publishing the original video, Arbour posted an additional video, standing by her comments and dismissing any backlash as the actions of overly-sensitive “keyboard warriors”.

“Keyboard warriors are trying to murder comedy,” she said, adding that “keyboard warriors are the new terrorists” and that “stereotypes are funny because they’re true”.

Since the release of Dear Fat People, various YouTubers have posted videos which criticise Arbour’s argument.

Plus-size vlogger Meghan Tonjes posted a response soon after the video started gaining traction in which she said that, even if Arbour’s intention was “not to say this to be an a——” but to help people recognise their personal health issues, she hadn’t taken the right route.

“I know what it’s like to sit down as a teenage girl and see something like that,” Tonjes said, in a video that has been viewed over 500,000 times.

“And it doesn’t have the effect that people like this assume it does where it just motivates me to go and lose weight.”

Popular YouTuber Grace Helbig also weighed in, describing the video as “a bummer”.

“I feel like I just have to say something about it because it just sucks so hard, and it’s such a bummer,” said Helbig, who hosts The Grace Helbig Show on the E! network.

“Nicole I don’t know you but you seem really smart and you seem like you have comedic timing, I was just bummed that someone who seemed really smart and funny would speak about weight that way.”