A day after the terrorist attack against Muslims in New Zealand, comedian, Jess Hilarious was boarding a plane and saw four Sikh people but mistook them for Muslims. She recorded the group and posted on her Instagram story that she was fearful for her life. After pointing out the group to social media, everyone was told to come off the plane. When it was time to re-board, the four people she had pointed out were no longer on the flight with everyone else.
She immediately received backlash for her video and went straight to defense mode. She has now made a public apology to those offended, primarily to the Sikh and Islamic faiths, and donated $15,000 to the families of the New Zealand tragedy.
Jess Hilarious is rarely ever trending for anything positive. She is known for making controversial statements and clapping back; she even won a BET Social Award for having the best clapbacks. Only a couple days before this incident she was found under The ShadeRoom implying that Dwayne Wade’s youngest son was gay.
A homophobic comment and a xenophobic comment in less than three days. Damn sis, do better!
In the initial video she wailed and repeatedly said “Where are you going?” as she saw the victims boarding the same plane as her. She then responded to the backlash in a three part video saying, “F-ck y’all, I feel how I feel. I felt threatened and that was it. F-ck y’all […] N-ggas know I’m never f-cking racist, but I spotted something, and I put it out earlier and we just got evacuated from our plane.”
After deleting those videos she then made three posts on her Instagram story:
And for you OTHER clown b-tches talkin i’m cancelled…(you b-tches SAY that every month)…imagine ME CANCELLED. For being human…#BYE
1. Jess falsely stereotyped a religion and converted the religion to a race. Muslim’s do not have a set race and as a black woman to say you have Muslim family, you should know that there is no race that ties with the Islamic faith. Religion is a practice that is open to anyone and on top of that, they weren’t even Muslim. Sikhism is also not a type of the Islamic faith. They’re completely separate.
3. “Teach me!” The school system may have failed to educate Jess on different religious beliefs but as a 25 year-old woman with resources surrounding her, you are more than capable of teaching yourself. Asking to be taught whilst still being disrespectful is dismissive and distasteful.
4. The confidence in which Jess had towards the cancel culture, I’m not mad at. She could say something like that because no one has ever actively cancelled her. This isn’t her first outlandish comment, however the apology she made indicated that bags had been threatened this time.
5. “I have Muslims in my family.” Whilst this may be true, this sounds very identical to the infamous caucasian comment “I’m not racist, my best friend’s neighbour is black.”
Hopefully, this incident has awoken something in Jess Hilarious and encouraged her to be mindful of what she is saying. She is a comedian but every homophobic and racist comment she has made has always been unwarranted and off stage. Her donation to the New Zealand families is a good start, but she will need to make a huge turnaround after this.
Written by Tolu Martins