Yo, Is This Racist… – Celebrities and Racial Dialogue in America

Yo, Is This Racist…

mason.1009, sienko.4, and clements.172

Episode #1

Episode Transcript

19:16:33 Hey guys welcome back to our podcast of Yo Is This Racist, together I''m here with my fellow co hosts, and we're going to be diving in a little bit more about potential racism within celebrities and with Hollywood.
19:16:49 Now our first topic of discussion is going to be about Kendall Jenner. She recently launched a tequila brand, and she''s claiming that this is going to be the best tequila, ever.
19:17:01 However, she's gotten a lot of backlash within the media, and people are saying that she is appropriating tequila companies, and the Mexican culture.
19:17:11 So we're going to get started talking about this. First off, what do you guys think or what were your initial thoughts when you first saw that she released that tequila brand.
19:17:21 Well, I mean, one of the things I think about starting a business, especially in the context of a business that one might accuse of appropriating someone's culture is the fact that I mean with a business it relies on people buying their product.
19:17:37 So at the end of the day I mean if it's well known that this person is doing something that, in your opinion isn't doing a good job or is doing something that you consider wrong, I mean you can always not buy their product and in some instances the backlash
19:17:52 over this might lead to more people buying from traditional suppliers.
19:17:57 Yeah, I agree, I... when I first heard that Kendall Jenner was coming out with a tequila, I was kind of taken back by it because I only know her as a model and a personality.
19:18:11 So it made me question what made her get into this and she kept this a secret for so long. So I was very confused at first, about what would make her want to make a tequila, like tequila is known for being more Mexican; Latinos, they're the ones that make
19:18:29 these tequilas, and I even found a quote that said, "this is a joke for real to tequila makers," what Kendall did was literally make a bottle and found a bigger brand that bottles quote her tequila.
19:18:42 I found that by the writer Tyler Chin on gearpatrol.com, and it also said that a lot of people were angry that a non Mexican person was profiting off the Mexican product when so many Mexicans rely on making and selling tequila to support their families.
19:19:01 I suppose you could say that it's shameful. I mean we're used to celebrities doing shameful things to make money. And I'm not really surprised. I mean, you see it all the time you see you see a product line from a celebrity. I mean,
19:19:17 Justin Bieber had a clothing line. I mean, Tyler crater has a good clothing line.
19:19:23 But, I mean, it's not it's not uncommon for a celebrity to create and shill a product that is both terrible and something that they didn't even wholly create.
19:19:39 I yes, I guess, sorry, but I saw something that Kendall, since she's the one making the business, they're saying that she's going to be making so much money off of this, this particular company, but she was like, are these players who work in like the
19:19:56 the agave fields which are growing in Mexico normally like are these farmers going to be making more money because of her company, and people were talking about like, are they going to be getting any more benefits than just their CEO I guess is a millionaire,
19:20:10 you know what I mean. And also, I think another thing that is important to consider too is that since Kendall's...
19:20:19 I guess you brought this up earlier to have Kendall selling this tequila, who are the people buying and supporting this business and like I also feel like that could be a potential problem too is a lot of the time people just shop from companies and
19:20:31 shop for products, and they don't really care about the company's morals or values, or if they're offending a certain culture while doing it.
19:20:42 I think that a lot of people buy things just to try things out without really diving into what is going on behind the scenes. For example, Travis Scott coming out with a new seltzer, a lot of people were buying it just to say oh I tried it and have their
19:21:00 opinion on that so I wonder who's going to be buying this tequila just so they can say, I bought Kendall Jenner tequila, and then form their opinion based on that.
19:21:10 Well I mean if it's a, if it's a fad. It just rises up and then falls really quickly. I don't really think that it could create any lasting damage. I mean maybe if she created a brand that was extremely successful in the long term.
19:21:26 And I don't know if it's... that's looking to be the case, especially if this tequila according to traditional makers of it isn't very good.
19:21:34 It looks like this might be a quick jump. And then a fall.
19:21:39 The controversy... the fact that there's a controversy over it isn't really helping our case, although controversy in many cases can sell.
19:21:47 We witnessed that just this month, or maybe last month with the Dr. Seuss books.
19:21:55 Whenever there's some kind of upheaval or some, some massive or what people perceive to be some world ending event is always a surge in sales, surge in prices... people are willing to be opportunistic.
19:22:08 I don't know if it will change the tequila market, or really affect people who are producing it traditionally, if you're just a casual tequila consumer, you're definitely not going to be checking to make sure that tequila you're drinking is traditionally
19:22:24 produced or, or for quality, and people like that will probably try Kendall Jenner's brand once, determine it to be subpar or exactly the same as a commercial brand that she's copying from and move on.
19:22:39 I don't know if it'll truly make a huge impact.
19:22:44 But, I mean it's processes like these that prevent people from straight up destroying someone's market.
19:22:53 Yeah, I guess. Some other problems people were having with the bottle was that she messed up I guess the labeling, like it's... I think it's supposed to be like 'Blanco Tequila', but I think in Spanish, it's technically 'Tequila Blanco' because the adjective
19:23:10 comes, I think after the word. I might be butchering it but people were having a problem with that, saying that she wasn't even able to accurately have the correct label, in terms of the Spanish culture, which I also thought was interesting and she also
19:23:28 was drinking the tequila on the rocks, and that's just not a traditional way to drink tequila. So I guess other people were having a problem with that as well, which I thought was interesting that she wasn't even using it unlike a traditional sense.
19:23:43 This is a similar.
19:23:46 In my opinion to the pizza effect, I mean you could give it any names but Americans, generally like to import a culture, or some some food or product from another culture and then change it to American tastes.
19:24:01 And if you if you go to Italy, and you try the pizza there it's very different from what you might get at a regular pizza chain in America, Chinese food
19:24:14 Similarly, and although I mean a lot of these products are produced by immigrants, and they tweak it for their market. I mean, they're business people first.
19:24:19 But it is kind of interesting to see someone selling something that, that they have no connection to. It does seem disingenuous, and it doesn't really seem honest but I don't really think we expect too much honestly from famous celebrities.
19:24:39 So I'm not surprised, but I'm not because I'm not surprised I don't think it's going to be a huge difference.
19:24:52 Yeah.
19:24:54 And I guess another thing that some people were saying that other celebrities, including The Rock and Justin Timberlake also have tequila brands, and they have not seen received this amount of backlash compared to her because she is a woman in the media but.
19:25:08 So that's also something else to consider, I guess.
19:25:13 We also have another similarity with celebrities that are accused of using something to exploit their own music is Justin Bieber. He recently released an album called Justice, and in one of his songs he has an MLK speech, and the verse is stand up for justice
19:25:34 is what Martin... Martin Luther King says, but Justin cuts it off so it sounds like it's saying, "stand up for justice." What do you guys think about this.
19:25:44 Do you think it's right or wrong or what's your opinion?
19:25:47 I think in terms of the shamelessness, it's about on par if not worse than what Kendall Jenner did.
19:25:55 I think in this case, this is just a case of someone commercializing social justice. It's not uncommon to see Martin Luther King portrayed in popular culture.
19:26:06 And it's not uncommon, especially in hip hop and pop music to see it, social justice movements portrayed in a certain way or leaders quoted, and it's not uncommon at all to see cultural issues discussed, I mean that's a lot of popular music cultural
19:26:23 issues are the reason that the song was created. Killer Mike is a big example
19:26:31 MF DOOM, who recently passed away.
19:26:35 Carlee, what do you think. Um, I read an article that said, a lot of people think it's performative nonsense. And I kind of agree because of Justin Bieber, he says he's not trying to make a connection between himself and Martin Luther King, which he shouldn't.
19:26:54 But I don't understand, if he thinks that he has a lot more educating he needs to do, why would he even go there and try to include something that he knows is going to be controversial, especially in today's society where we're facing a lot of racism,
19:27:11 and we're still trying to combat that. So I was just kind of confused why, if he knew what was going on in society, why would you want to put himself in a position where he would potentially face this type of backlash.
19:27:26 I think you make a really good point. Um, I saw that the song where he has stand up for justice in it from Martin Luther King. It's a song about his wife, so it's kind of, I guess, confusing as why would he bring that in when it's not even about, I guess,
19:27:42 inequality, it's about like his wife, but I also did see an article where Justin Bieber was talking about it saying how he was trying to bring education and awareness to the Black Lives Matter movement and to racism in America and in Canada, he said in
19:27:57 Canada where he grew up he wasn't even like aware and fully educated about all this and he said that he has such a large platform, which he does, so he wanted to bring more attention, and he also had started a campaign for a lot of other like justice movements.
19:28:13 And I think this is where I'm confused because I'm happy that he's wanting to educate Americans and all his huge influence more about the true racism that's existing in America, but I don't think going about his way of how he did it with his album is
19:28:32 not fully appropriate.
19:28:35 I know he's received different backlash and everything and I think it is a little bit absurd, because I think that he can.
19:28:42 He can, he can do a lot, and bring a lot of awareness, but that's also like, I don't know.
19:28:58 It does sound like the celebrity cop out though, saying, I mean, people people getting mad at him, he argues that oh I''m trying to raise awareness. I know very few people who aren't aware of Martin Luther King.
19:29:03 And if people weren't aware of Martin Luther King is out there be such a huge response to it.
19:29:10 In this case I think he tried to get away with it, couldn't get away with it, and tried to use this excuse as a cop out I, I, I doubt that Justin Bieber is really educating people with several second sample of him.
19:29:28 I agree, I think he just wasn't thinking, and thought this would be the right thing to do, to mention a social issue in a song, thinking it would have a positive effect, and instead it had a negative effect.
19:29:42 So,
19:29:46 yeah, I guess one final thought is that I did see that one of Martin Luther King's ancestors reached out to Justin Bieber, praising him and like approving of what he did, so I guess it depends on how different people feel but I do think
19:30:03 that Justin should have done things in a more appropriate way.
19:30:09 Celebrities have such a big platform, and I think sometimes they find difficulties trying to use that platform in a way that won't cause controversy in a way that doesn't have their morals questioned, and I think it just came down to the fact where this
19:30:26 is just something that he, you know, he thought would make a positive impact.
19:30:32 And everyone has their own opinion on it so.. What's our verdict: racist or not racist?
19:30:41 I mean I don't want to say full on racist but I definitely don't think it's not...
19:30:48 Maybe not politically correct, I'll put it that way. Yeah, I agree. I think maybe it's just not appropriate.
19:30:54 I'd say it wasn't racist it's just a little embarrassing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *