Franchesca Ramsey, Vlogger, On Making "Shit White Girls Say...To Black Girls"
Yesterday, graphic designer, vlogger and comedian Franchesca Ramsey posted her video "Shit White Girls Say...to Black Girls," the latest (and to us, the funniest) YouTube video riff on "Shit Girls Say." It got over 1.5 million views its debut day . The Voice spoke to Ramsey by phone this morning to chat with her about her YouTube videos, being accused of hating white people (even though she's engaged to one), and her flap with Perez Hilton.
How are you?
A little crazy. A little crazy.
I have to admit, because I'm not very in touch with the world, I didn't know about the original "Shit Girls Say" until I saw your video, which was hilarious. Now I've seen all these variations of it. How did you first see it, and when did you get the idea to do your own take?
I saw it on facebook, like everybody did. Co-workers were sending it around. And I thought, dammnit, why didn't I think of that? I've been making YouTube videos for a long time. Everyone starting doing spinoffs, which in the YouTube world is the easiest way to guarantee somebody is going to watch your video. So I started to think, what could I do? I was thinking of "Shit Black Suburban Girls Say," or "Shit Oreos Say."
Are you a black suburban girl? An oreo?
Yes, and yes.
I've been called an oreo before.
So you feel me. Then I saw the "Shit Black Girls Say" version, and I thought, man, that does not relate to me at all. None of it relates. To me, it was a bunch of black stereotypes -- the weave, the neck swerving. I mean, it's still funny, but it's not me. When I went home at Christmas, my friends were asking about my hair, the usual fax pas...and I started thinking, if I wear a white girl wig, that could work...and I started writing ideas down, and it happened.
Where is home for you?
West Palm Beach, Florida.
The video was directed by somebody else?
Well my friend Eric Walter did the filming. Usually I do everything myself. I never have someone do my camera work. But for this, I couldn't hold the camera and setup a tripod in the park. Eric was on board and I told him I'd credit him and get him some views. He accompanied me and helped me scout locations. He was a great help.
Who did you first show it to?
No one. I stayed up late [two days ago] and posted it before I went to work.
Tell me about the response yesterday.
Oh my God, my inbox really hates me right now. Everyday it's telling me I am over capacity. Now it's like, really girl? Really?
It's been good. It's been really positive. Some people are upset, but the people who are upset don't really get it and don't understand what I do. You need to know who I am to understand the video, and if they don't watch my other videos, they might not get me. I've had a few people saying "You hate white people!" But my fiancé is white, most of my closest friends are white. I was literally hopping on a meme and trying to make it relevant to me. A lot of people relate to it, but some people don't. That's what happens when you're a black girl on the internet. I've done this for long enough that I'm used to it.
What happened yesterday with Perez Hilton?
Long story short, he posted my video. But instead of embedding it, he ripped it and put it on Perez TV, which is his own video server, and he cut the end with my credits. He didn't link to my channel, he didn't say that it was made by Franchesca Ramsey. He said, "We will now present you with 'Shit White Girls Say...to Black Girls," as if he'd made it. I emailed and thanked him, and I asked him to please post my original video, so that I get the hits, and to include a link to my YouTube channel. And he didn't respond until after my twitter fans went nuts. They were like, "We're on this! We're going to blow him up!"
And then he emailed me a really passive aggressive message, saying, "I didn't know I was stealing! I thought I was promoting you!" To which I was like, that's bullshit. You knew you were stealing. You didn't credit me, you didn't embed me. And then he said, "It's been removed." But before, there was this back and forth, where I said, "Listen, I'm happy to be on Perez Hilton, but the least you could do is to embed my video, so that I get the hits. I'm a college graduate in debt, give me the hits. You don't need the money."
He was really passive aggressive, and wrote that, "I help plenty of YouTubers, and a lot of people thank me for being on my site," and a bunch of garbage. In the past I had emailed him and asked, "Please post my video," but now I told him, "I really regretted ever contacting you. I don't ever want to talk to you ever again. You're a crappy person." He is trying to rebrand himself and say he's nice now. But he's the same person he always ways. I can't understand why anyone would do that. At least leave my name on my work. That's so wrong.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Village Voice's biggest stories.