Nicki Minaj recently announced that she’s producing and starring in a new ABC Family sitcom about her family’s move from Trinidad to Queens, N.Y. The rapper, who recently shut down a New York Times Magazine interviewer, moved to New York City with her family when she was 5. Although the sitcom is still in the early stages of production, fans of Onika Tanya Maraj are already clamoring about it. But one fan in particular raised eyebrows Monday after airing a parody of the show.
On Monday, The Ellen DeGeneres Show announced an exclusive clip from Minaj’s series.
“It was just announced that Nicki Minaj is producing a sitcom of her childhood growing up in Queens, New York,” the show’s host, Ellen DeGeneres, stated. “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.”
What was supposed to be funny really wasn’t in the grand scheme of things. The clip showed a little black girl, playing Minaj, with a big butt. The mother and father also had big butts, as did the family’s dog.
Many people on social media thought the clip wasn’t just offensive but also low-key racist because of the stereotype it perpetuated about black people and big butts.
Granted, yes, Minaj is all about her derriere and it’s something she’s proud of, but it definitely wasn’t something she carried around as a little girl. And why would anyone think it was OK for a little girl to bend over and draw attention to her big butt?
As Gawker writer Rich Juzwiak put it, “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?”
What would have been really funny would be to show a young Minaj, who was a performing-arts student at New York City’s famous LaGuardia High School, perfecting her acting chops. Or even a young Minaj at her first job at Red Lobster and getting fired for being too fiesty. But no, a little black girl with an overexaggerated butt isn’t funny.