UC Irvine fraternity sparks outrage after making video using blackface

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NBC Southern California – A scene 55 seconds into a two-minute homemade music video posted on Youtube is being called reprehensible and racially offensive by UC Irvine’s vice chancellor of student affairs.

Members of Lambda Theta Delta created a video in which they lip sync and dance to Justin Timberlake’s “Suit and Tie.” One of the members wears blackface — a form of theatrical makeup that was used to portray racist stereotypes of African Americans — to portray Jay-Z.

“We’re being referred to as a racist organization,” chapter president Darius Obana said.

When asked it that was true he said, “Absolutely not.”

The fraternity brother at the center of the video, Obana said, is a junior at UC Irvine who was inspired by the Justin Timerlake-Jay-Z collaboration “Suit and Tie.”

“He was trying to be Jay-Z,” Obana said.

But that’s not how many students interpret it. The Asian Pacific Student Association calls it deeply offensive.

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