Nicole Arbour is a self-proclaimed comedian that has made a name for herself by making trolly videos that comedically attack traditional vulnerable groups (fat people, ethnic minorities etc). Her videos have generally received an equal mix of support and disdain, with one side broadly arguing that it’s ‘just a joke, bro’ and the othr arguing that hey, maybe we already have enough negativity in the world.
Get it? She’s puffing her cheeks like she’s fat, get it? Get it? Comedy.
Regardless of how you feel about her previous output, she has now undoubtedly reached a point of no return. This month YouTuber Matt Santoro released a highly emotional video in which he recounted his experience of being in an emotionally (and sometimes physically) abusive relationship. The video, which we defy you to watch without at least tearing up, shows Matt at his most raw and is a powerful statement on the lasting damage that domestic abuse can inflict:
Matt never names his abuser, but almost as soon as the video went live viewers began to speculate that it may be Nicole Arbour, as the couple had a had a prominent relationship and break up in the previous months. Nicole’s first response to the video is something to behold. It is quite possibly worst possible approach she could have taken in the situation (WARNING: DISTURBING LANGUAGE):
“Heard that little b*tch I dumped months ago is still trying to get attention on his vlog channel. Ew“
She also posted a further comment where she referred to Matt as a ‘whiny little b*tch.’ Additionally, she responded to Matt’s video on twitter, taking a diplomatic approach, as always:
Nicole’s Reply Has Made This A Much Larger Issue
This moves beyond a personal dispute between two people, this has much wider implications now. Nicole Arbour is a prominent figure online: when she says something, a lot of people hear it – and there’s a chance a lot of people may be sympathetic to it (at least on first hearing). While the issue of to what degree public figures should be regarded as role models has always been something that has drawn much debate, there is no denying that having a popular figure visibly and shamelessly mock someone who has experienced domestic abuse (especially when it’s potentially at her hands) is extremely unhelpful and very damaging for the public perception of domestic abuse and how we ought to treat its victims.
Let’s not forget, domestic abuse is no rare thing. About 20 people are physically abused by an intimate partner in the U.S every minute, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This doesn’t even take into account the countless people who are too scared or ashamed to come forward and admit that they are the victim of abuse. With a problem this widespread causing this much misery across the world, why on earth would you choose to use your position as a public figure to heap even more misery upon its victims? Even if Matt is the monster she claims he is and is in fact lying, what impression would an external victim get when looking at her response? They would associate coming clean about their abuse with receiving further abuse.
Now She Wants Him To Take A Lie Detector Test
Nicole posted a few days ago which she unhelpfully named ‘Dear Matt Santoro’. Giving the video the same style of title as her comedy videos seems to equate this issue with those kinds of videos. It’s disrespectful and just underlines the unsympathetic attitude she had adopted. Nicole announced in this video that the only way to make things ‘fair’ would be for Matt to take a polygraph test (a lie detector test), to ‘prove’ that he’s not lying about his accusations.
The response to the video has been, shall we say, definitive:
This is a bizarre move. Matt is obviously not going to do this, because of how weird and awkward it would be and because he likely resents the idea that he must be ‘tested’ to be believed. Interestingly, even if he did take the test, it would ultimately be pointless because, as has been stated time and time again by experts: polygraph tests aren’t accurate at all and can be easily beaten. See for yourself:
ALSO LET’S JUST LOOK AT THIS TWEET FOR A SECOND, SHALL WE:
The Big Picture
Regardless of whether Nicole is the one responsible for what happened to Matt or not, we think the way that she is handling the topic of domestic abuse is unacceptable and very unhelpful and damaging for the countless victims out there that have had to suffer this terrible crime. Just because you feel that one person may be lying about being abused, that doesn’t mean that you should actively undermine victims in general.
Her choice to describe Matt as a ‘little b*tch’ and ‘whiny’ are extremely damaging. One of the primary reasons why male domestic abuse victims don’t speak out (as Matt said himself in his video) is that they feel ashamed, because they perceive that being such a victim will be seen as ‘not manly’ or ‘weak.’ By using this kind of language, Nicole is only reinforcing this incredibly dangerous way of thinking. We hope she issues an apology for her comments and sincerely hope that she perhaps tries to do some good off the back of this situation. More than likely though, she’ll just try and use the controversy to increase her online following, as always.
For more information on domestic abuse and what to do if you suspect are subject to it, click here.