Popular Australian comedian Rebel Wilson is in hot water this week after a gag she pulled at the VMAs, making light of the Black Lives Matter movement and police brutality.
According to the Huffington Post, Rebel Wilson took the stage at the VMAs award ceremony to present the winner for Best Hip-Hop Video. She took that opportunity to address the recent outcry against police officers who abuse their power by discriminating against racial minorities, but she did so by dressing as a stripper cop and wearing a shirt that said, “F*** THA STRIPPER POLICE.”
“I know a lot of people have problems with the police,” she said to the VMA audience, “but I really hate police strippers.”
According to the New York Daily News, she then complained that she hired a police stripper for her grandmother’s birthday who refused to “feel her up.” Rebel Wilson was essentially pretending to be an activist against erotic dancers dressed as cops in an attempt to make light of activists against real police officers accused of perpetuating injustice in the legal system.
“They come to your house. You think you’re getting arrested, and you just get a lap dance that is usually uninspired,” she said. “I hate this injustice. Hence the shirt.”
Many Twitter users have called out Rebel Wilson for the bit, calling it tasteless and insensitive. Though Rebel Wilson has never been known for her tact, some say the actress took the joke too far.
— deray mckesson (@deray) August 31, 2015
“I know a lot of people have problems with the police, but I have a problem with police strippers.” -Rebel Wilson police brutality=/=joke.
— Affinity Magazine (@Affinitylife) August 31, 2015
Rebel Wilson making light of police brutality before announcing the nominees for best Hip Hop video is so white it hurts #VMAs
— Glen Coco (@MrPooni) August 31, 2015
— SOWMYA KRISHNAMURTHY (@SowmyaK) August 31, 2015
Nicki’s energy would’ve been better spent calling out Rebel Wilson’s unacceptable police brutality jabs than wasting words on Miley. #VMAs
— David Levitz (@DavidLevitz) August 31, 2015
However, not all the reactions to Rebel Wilson’s appearance at the VMAs were negative. Searching Twitter for responses to the ceremony and for Rebel Wilson reveals plenty of tweets from fans claiming Rebel Wilson actually should have hosted the entire show, instead of just having one tiny segment.
— Charles John Kelly (@TheRealCJKelly) April 15, 2013
— Rae Rae (@rae_of_life) August 25, 2013
— cheerUPDATES (@cheerUPDATES) August 26, 2013
What do you think? Was Rebel Wilson’s joke in poor taste, or should she have hosted the VMAs? For more on Rebel Wilson, watch the Pitch Perfect 2 gag reel.