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When Alexander Wang released the video for his Spring 2013 ad campaign featuring Bon Qui Qui, the reaction was overwhelmingly positive. Bon Qui Qui, a character formerly on “MADtv,” played by Anjelah Johnson, was in full “ghetto girl” mode working in Alexander Wang’s swank boutique and yelling at his elite customers including Alessandra Ambrosio, A$AP Rocky, Shannan Click, Simon Doonan and Natasha Lyonne. Similar to her role on “MADtv” where she worked at “King Burger,” Bon Qui Qui is popping gum, rocking a two-tone weave and mouthing off at clients and her employer in the Gavin McIness-directed video. Most think her satirical caricature is hilarious and even brilliant, but not everyone is laughing.

The Frisky writes:

Bon Qui Qui is a stereotype of a sassy, back-talking Latina woman. [...] I can’t help but feel uncomfortable watching this. Johnson’s caricature is the only representation of a woman of color in the video — she’s effectively the butt of the joke, and portrayed as an uncultured, unsophisticated, rude person. That seems pretty shitty to me. [...]

In a 2010 New York Times profile, [Johnson] said: “Deep down inside, I’m really a black girl stuck in a Mexican girl’s body.” She then went on to mock an audience member’s disapproval of the Bon Qui Qui character: “Once I was doing Bon Qui Qui in Miami, and this black girl was in the audience and she yelled out, ‘That’s not funny!’ which was really funny because she sounded exactly like the character I was playing.” So, yeah.

 

To be sure, Bon Qui Qui’s character is rooted in stereotypes but is it offensive? Many disagree and believe it’s just innocent humor. Others think it offends a class of people as opposed to race or ethnicity.

Watch the video below:

What are your thoughts, Clutchettes and Gents? Do you find the clip offensive?

  • gmarie

    I think I find it more dumb than offensive.

  • Me

    Its more stale then it is offensive. I didn’t laugh bc it just wasnt funny *shrugs*

  • http://www.facebook.com/karen.a.elle Karen Azukar Elle

    I saw this today and I thought it was funny. I posted it on my Facebook page. Then I saw the interview she did in which she talked about her inspiration for Bon qui qui. Suddenly, it wasn’t funny anymore. The only thing I could think was, “they’re laughing at us.” Even though “us” is not a monolith, even though “us” laughs at “us,” it still didn’t sit well with me. I took it off of my page.

  • Anthony

    It was pretty dumb. It really doesn’t deserve the buzz of a controversy.

  • Chillyroad

    Pretty Flacko!!! Love this kid’s music.

  • Kacey

    Nothing about this was funny!

    That quote by Johnson to the NYTimes says it all!

    smh

  • http://refreshreport.blogspot.com/ ebony

    My asian, white, and black co-workers all from upper middle class are the ones who introduced me (the only one from the ‘hood’) to Bon Qui Qui several years ago. I checked her out but it wasn’t as hilarious to me as it was to them. I don’t find it offensive in any way whatsoever. No more than Martin Lawrence or Jamie Foxx. Alexander is probably the first luxury designer to acknowledge his appeal to urban markets, their influence in fashion, and incorporated figures (Azealia Banks) into his marketing.

  • Ericka

    That was humorless and tacky. And that Bon Qui Qui character she does has never gotten a chuckle outta me on Mad Tv…

  • http://gravatar.com/nolakiss16 binks

    Yeah but no…If this was an ad then it was a very stupid ad and from a comedy standpoint not very funny but dry. I’ do not understand how this represented his brand. I want the 3 minutes of my life back…

  • Jasmin

    If you approve of Sheneneh and Wanda, don’t disapprove of Bon Qui Qui. IJS

  • http://www.urbanexpressive.com J. Nicole

    It isn’t funny; not because it’s offensive but on a comedic level it just was not funny. This is the first I ever heard of her or her character, but since you say it originated on MadTV, I can see how it got some popularity. MadTV’s target audiance is the 18-35 white male demographic; easiest way to get a lauch is have a stereotypical person of color be loud & obnoxious around a bunch of civilized white people- Gee, how cutting edge!

    Not that it hasn’t been done befire but when the show 1st started they had Ms. Swan & those two Latina girls calling everyone “stoopid”, but as offensive as they were it was funny. What I find offensive/annoying is she says she’s a “black girl stuck in a Mexican girl’s body”…. So clearly that is her interpretation of Black women while also feeding off the spicy Latina stereotype. If this is all she has to offer, clearly she has no real talent and I refuse to waste my time serk g any of her other “commedy skills”‘

  • southernDarling

    There is a difference in my opinion. I wasnt turned off (or moved AT ALL really…the character isnt funny) until I read the actress’ comment about her being a black girl in a Latino’s body. She’s just an ignorant Latino….like Honey Boo Boo is an ignorant white person (Lord, bless the children)….anytime someone is acting ignorant everyone is quick to say theyre “acting black.”….on Martin, black ppl are represented in many different ways (Gina is a top marketing executive. Tommy is a….). Sheneneh just happens to be the ignorant neighbor. That happens to be black.

  • Pseudonym

    Weird that she thinks she needs to be a black girl in a Latino’s body to act like this. I know plenty of Latinas in Latina bodies who act the same way. I didn’t find it offensive for that very reason- I grew up knowing TONS of Latinas that act like this. I did, however, find it to be NOT funny AT ALL, trite, and a bit tortuous b/c it was just going nowhere…but kept going on and on…and none of the “jokes” had punchlines. It was odd. and how is this a commercial for a brand?

  • http://gravatar.com/missinformation7 Ms. Information

    Two words….Evelyn Lozada…don’t put all of the ghetto shit on us.,…plenty of ghetto latinas also.

  • KGA25

    Doesn’t make it right.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nieshag Niesha Gourdine

    a mess..this is not ok…

  • EST. 1986 (GO RAVENS)

    How does one ‘act’ ignorant?

  • jasmin

    I understand what you’re aying… Because Martin represented many different black people it was ok for him to have this stereotypical ignorant neighbor that happened to be black. There’s balance. If Sheneneh was the only black character in a cast of white people it would surely come off as offensive. As it may seem to others in this add. I do think this lady really messed up with saying she was a black girl in a latino girls body. Of course not all black women act in that manner. But unfortunately this is the way many people view black women. But still her actions as this character are the same as Sheneneh and Wanda. Loud, trashing talking and rude. Same character different skin tone.

  • http://eviehuxtable.wordpress.com Gigi Young

    They love us like this. We have no nuances and inner lives to them and we’re only here to serve them or make them laugh or dance.

    And Anjela is a damn liar–if it’s a stereotype of a Latina woman, why does she say she feels like a black woman is trapped inside of her?

  • Gigi Young

    He could easily acknowledge his appeal to black fashionistas (I despise the word “urban”) by using black models and hiring a black female or male celeb as the “face” or “muse” for his line, not trotting out this stale stereotype portrayed by a Latina.

  • SouthernDarling

    Ignorant means lacking in knowledge or training. To act ignorant is to act as as tho one is lacking in knowledge or training. That is how one acts ignorant…. Knowledge is power.

  • leelah

    just lost respect for ASAP Rocky. Black celebrities have to be culturally and racially aware. when I see them just standing there, being apart of something that is making fun of their culture I lost all respect for them. He’s now just a stupid clown to me, with that stupid grin on his face.

  • Do Better

    I have to agree. From a marketing perspective, I recognize that for some people this had entertainment value. But I don’t think it delivered key brand messages or even a clear message. These are just some of the important aspects of a commercial, and I think it was missing here. I’m not even sure how this commercial fits with the circulated images of Raquel Zimmerman published on the Alexender McQueen Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/BrandMcQueen)

  • Mademoiselle

    What is being sold? This actress(?) overshadows whatever the point is. I don’t get the commercial…

  • Ice

    She is a black girl trapped in a Mexican body??? First of all Mexican and Latino are not races. There are Afro-Mexicans and Afro-Latinos. This chick is a White Latino! This makes her no different from a White American doing this “Ghetto Act”! And by the way her act is not funny! She’s trying to do a bad impersonation of Sheneneh and it ain’t working! Martin should sue her this! LOL

  • Pingback: “Ghetto Girl” Bon Qui Qui Stars in Comical Alexander Wang Ad, But Not Everyone’s Laughing | My Black Networks® -The Latest News from The African Diaspora

  • http://kalihuru.wordpress.com yadumu

    Am I missing something (concerning The Frisky’s quote), because isn’t Alessandra Ambrosio latina?

  • Pink Lipstick

    Truth!

  • Anthony

    Ice, although it really doesn’t matter, I don’t think this “comedienne” is white. I think she is a mestiza. Thank, does make her act any less stupid though.

  • ChaCha1

    I don’t think it is funny, but more corny than anything. I don’t like her statement. Offended? Not really, but it is annoying. I’m not surprised, because this is the umpteenth time someone, man or woman, has made a character of a Sheneneh-esque version of a black woman, as if that is what most of us are like. If this is her interpretation of the way she thinks a “black girl” behaves, then she makes herself look dense. Is this really supposed to draw more people to the brand?? Can I put on a blonde wig, and act like a ditzy, bitchy, entitled, snooty white girl and get some brand to use my stuff?

  • Honey

    It’s funny when you see the trend reverses and more and more non black kids acting these ways when our kids are not even like that and getting somewhere!

  • Honey

    We’ve never been like that. When I was in high school people acting like that where the non black persons trying to be cool. This is what happen when you make a caricature of a non white person poverty.

  • Margaret

    I would say it’s stupid. The original Bon Qui Qui skit was funny. This was just – ridiculous and irrelevant.

  • Tiff

    She’s a comedienne, let’s get over it.

  • KR

    This one was not that funny but the Burger King video is a classic. http://youtu.be/jZkdcYlOn5M

  • Just a man

    racist! racist! racist! Bottom line! And, racist crap like this will always be entertained or exploited as long people and give it a platform to breath or have life!

  • WhatIThink

    Well if you don’t like comedians making fun of ethnic stereotypes then you don’t like most comedy in America.

    Go to any black comedy show and you see the same stuff. So if a black comedian does it, then it is funny, but not a non black person?

    Richard Pryor did this and nobody called him ignorant for doing it.

    I understand the concern but if you really don’t like stereotypes in comedy then you should be consistent.

    And I thought the skit was funny.

  • brownlaydee

    If you think this is offensive you don’t have a sense a humor and you still haven’t gotten over racism. Comedians make fun of people regardless of race, gender, culture, disability. That is what comedy is based on in addition with real life experiences.

  • http://thisisblackwomen.com tiara

    not offensive at all

  • simplyme

    i’ve always loved the bon qui qui skits…i think whats rubbing me the wrong way is her quote about the character…

  • ImJustSaying

    I had that same thought
    “Deep down inside, I’m really a black girl stuck in a Mexican girl’s body.”
    So what she’s saying is only black people sound/act like that? VH1 and TLC and a host of other channels reality shows have shown that there is an under educated population out there for every race.
    I thought the King burger skit was funny. This new one didn’t quite work It just needed better writing.

  • susanne

    i think its funny. i have to deal with people like her all the time, and its actually scary ,cuz u really cant say crap to them about thier behavior. if she wants to make fun… let her make fun…. there is a reason for stereotyping…. and she’s only imitading the ones that she acts like… not the whole racial group.

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