It’s prompted a lot of different conversations, too. Cardi B has already defended her decision to cast Kylie Jenner in the video and responded to criticism from Tiger King‘s Carole Baskin about the use of animals in the clip.
However, in a not-so-hot take that absolutely no one asked for, Russell Brand has posted his own reaction video in which he discusses the “emergent polemic around the use of sexual imagery and female potency” in “WAP”.
“Is it a feminist masterpiece,” Brand asks in the YouTube listing, “or is it just another version of what’s always existed in terms of the objectification and commodification of the self?”
The 17-minute reaction video is so verbacious and meandering that it even includes a mention of highly controversial former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
In his reaction video, Brand says that he “wouldn’t be so reductive and simplistic to say that women celebrating their bodies using an aesthetic that’s conventionally been associated with the male gaze means it’s impossible that these tools could be used as a vehicle for liberation”.
However, he then adds: “But I am saying that in a sense it’s still the same metric, it’s still the same aesthetic, it’s still the same values, it’s still the same ideals. It’s still ultimately a sort of capitalist objectification and commodification of, in this case, the female.”
After insisting he’s not saying that Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion “aren’t powerful auteurs and powerful creators”, Brand adds: “I’m saying that we ought to be aspiring to an entirely different set of values – not who has the power within an established set of values.”
On Twitter, people are accusing Brand of “mansplaining” feminism and pointing out that he’s probably not the best equipped person to discuss issues surrounding feminism and the sexual agency of Black women.
Deborah Frances-White, host of the Guilty Feminist podcast, wrote: “I really don’t want to be taught feminism by Russell Brand. But I look forward to Louis CK’s thoughts on why Beyoncé is getting it all wrong.”
Check out a selection of reactions below.
I really don’t want to be taught feminism by Russell Brand. But I look forward to Louis CK’s thoughts on why Beyoncé is getting it all wrong. https://t.co/is7aPEiyhZ— DeborahFrances-White (@DeborahFW) August 15, 2020
Lessons in feminism from a man who used to prank call rape help lines as part of his stand up act. Thanks Russell Brand, we have so much to learn from you— Claudia Connell (@Claudiacc) August 15, 2020
Russell brand comparing a fucking music video to thatcher’s time as prime minister… are you fucking kidding me 😂😂 white men really need to stay out of Black women’s business. I’m going back to bed 😪— Lola🕊 #BLM (@whinemummy) August 15, 2020
I see Russell Brand is comparing the miners strike and the poll tax to women expressing their sexuality.— Ann Coates (@setoacnna) August 15, 2020
Thanks for mansplaining mate.
So, Russell Brand came online with his torn singlet and tiddies exposed to throw as many big words into as few sentences as possible just so he could seem wise and stay relevant while undermining Black Women? But just looked far more ridiculous in the process?— Kemi (@_KingKemi) August 15, 2020
Love to see it.
Russell Brand mentioning the WAP video in the same sentence as Margaret Thatcher was definitely not in my cards for 2020— YT: Develop with Amina 👩🏽💻🌱 (@yeahshewrites) August 15, 2020
Brand’s reaction video has also attracted some positive comments. “Russell Brand is not ‘mansplaining feminism’, he’s having a nuanced discussion about a complex topic and… he’s right,” one user wrote.
Brand previously attracted criticism on Twitter after he revealed that he had never looked after his two young daughters – then aged six months and two years old – for a 24-hour period without help from his wife, Laura Gallacher.
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