UC Irvine fraternity sparks outrage after making video using blackface
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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