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Ellen DeGeneres’ Nicki Minaj Parody Deemed Racist by Many

Do you ever wonder how things with racially problematic undertones eventually make their way out into the realm of public consumption, despite having to pass through multiple channels first?

Need an example? Great! Take Ellen DeGeneres‘ recent parody skit about Nicki Minaj and her upcoming television show as a glaring one. The TV host presented the clip as a sneak peek into Minaj’s show, which is set to be based on her childhood.

DeGeneres said, “It was just announced that Nicki Minaj is producing a sitcom of her childhood growing up in Queens, New York. It’s not on the air yet, but I called in a favor and I was able to get us a very exclusive sneak peek. This is totally real, not something we put together as a joke.”

The skit, shot like a ’90s sitcom, shows a black family with butts so absurdly large that they get in the way of everyday functions like walking around without knocking things over. That’s it. That’s the whole joke.

Various media outlets have commented on the racist undertones of the skit, with Gawker noting, “It was a joke, see, except…what exactly was the joke? That Nicki Minaj has a big butt? (OK, fine, but that’s just the truth, not really…a joke?) That black people have big butts? That black dogs have big butts? That black women’s bodies are absurd?”

And while an argument can be made that Minaj has placed a pointed emphasis on her ass throughout her career, it’s not one that holds much water. The Huffington Post writes, “While Nicki Minaj is known for proudly showing off her large, round bum, she does so on her terms. She isn’t perfect, but she has a certain kind of agency in her videos and performances that the sketch completely strips away, deconstructing Minaj into merely an ass than an actual human being.”

DeGeneres has yet to respond to allegations of racism, but The Ellen Show took the video down from its official website and YouTube channel. You can check out the video above and decide for yourself whether claims of racism are justified.

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