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?

Laughing.

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?

Sigh.

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.

Franchesca Ramsey tweets at chescaleigh and vlogs at YouTube.com/chescaleigh.

Eric Walter vlogs at Youtube.com/mylifeincoach.

sthrasher@villagevoice.com | @steven_thrasher

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69 comments
CNLJSKLAR
CNLJSKLAR

Franchesca is amazing, beautiful and hysterically funny.Please keep 'em coming.  You are terrific!

Vampie
Vampie

This is cool. She reminds me of me...minus the wig.Ugh, Perez... Why is that parasite allowed to exist? I will never understand how he became "famous" to begin with.

I think people are taking this all wrong. They really do not get satire. And everything she said is 100% true. It's entirely based upon common preconceptions that you see in the media all of the time so what's the big deal? It's fine once you're paying to watch it in a movie but not okay if a BLACK chick is pointing out your own ignorance?

And I can't believe people are saying she's racist. I don't think she'd be engaged to one and preparing to make a generation of interracial babies. Note too that the camera guy is *le gasp* Caucasian!

All races/ethnicities have "ideas" about each other which are shaped by what is perpetuated in the media and what the people themselves perpetuate. It doesn't mean that those stereotypes are all there is to a person, however, or that it's even true. You can't define someone based on the colour of their skin. Oh, and calling herself an Oreo? Who do you think came up with that term? I'm almost certain it wasn't an African American. It's almost like a "pass", sorta like saying "well you are Black but that's okay cuz on the inside, we're alike, and that's all that really matters." I've been called that and I refer to myself as such on occasion but I always laugh when I do because it's such a ridiculous term.

As a society, we will never get away from segregation because people always pigeonhole what they don't understand in order to make it more acceptable to them.

Kiki
Kiki

Sorry, college grad in dept not broke college student. Lol, but in America it pretty much feels the same.

cs
cs

Perez Hilton is a hypocrite. Always talking about rights, but can't handle it when others exercise theirs. Remember he asked Miss California a question, and got mad, calling her out of her name when she answered. Now he wants to split hairs (figuratively this time) by hating on this young sister's video (masterfully done btw) and not giving her the credit for it. Well done Mr. Rights.

Villager
Villager

 The mere fact that there is a  possibility subjective perception of a slight towards Americans of African descent, that no American of European Descent can possibly defend themsleves against, is why Americans of European Descent will choose not to interact voluntarily with Americans of African Descent.

ShellyMiscavige
ShellyMiscavige

The only good thing about Perez Hilton is his pathetic weeping when he gets what he deserves from one of the Black Eyed Peas entourage...

Heather C
Heather C

Funny.  Maybe it could be used as a learning tool, too!  lolScrew Mario.  When I figured out what kind of person he was (conveniently dumb), I refused to go to his site.  I wish others would, too.

Diana Moon
Diana Moon

"But he's the same person he always ways."

Forgot to have this edited? No big deal, but I think you meant 'was' and not 'ways'.

Cas_eindhoven
Cas_eindhoven

I wish this Hilton character can get sued big-time.

Even more than I wish I could stoomph Ms. Ramsey in nothing but her wig on her wedding night recapping her role...mmmmm, something about that dark dark chocolate skin (though the proportions are more white girl proportions) and the typical suburban whitegirl behavior is hot hot hot....

Amargoydulce
Amargoydulce

Version:1.0StartHTML:0000000149EndHTML:0000000452StartFragment:0000000199EndFragment:0000000418StartSelection:0000000199EndSelection:0000000418

Odd, that she calls herself an oreowhich is another cliché and narrow definition about what being Black is. 

Moses
Moses

Referring to yourself as an "oreo"? Super lame.I thought you would really have something interesting to say. This video is an amazing social satire and statement.

Conqueror53
Conqueror53

I just spent over an hour watching at least 15 of Franchesca's videos. All I can say is that this young lady is beautiful and talented. Doors will be opening for her in 2012.

Kw7887
Kw7887

Hysterical!!!  I love Franschesca!!! So funny! I love her because she is not afraid to be herself and say what's on her mind - with humor. and in this crazy world with so much nonsense, what could possibly be more important than humor?

   -Kimberly, a white girl from Texas

CallMeGoldie
CallMeGoldie

This is by far the best "Shit ... says"!!! :)

Dorian Dargan
Dorian Dargan

You handled things very professionally, Fran. We are proud of you and waiting to see what you're coming up with next!

- Dorian

Life Apprentice
Life Apprentice

"When people show you who they are, believe them" (OLC Lesson 13) Obviously saying he's nice and behaving nicely are two different things. But at the end he's the one loosing by not improving himself. Too bad. 

I'm really happy for Franchesca. She's be working hard for years, I've been viewing her channel for a while (another quiet viewer). She doesn't need Perez or anyone else, she did it all by her self. Great job! Keep up the good work! 

bintalshamsa
bintalshamsa

Yeah, that's why her fiancé is a white guy. Fortunately, there are plenty of white people in this country who are intelligent and secure enough to share their life with people of color. There are now more inter-racial marriages in America than ever before. In other words, White people can't get enough of us.Pretty soon, almost everyone in this country will be Black or Latino, to some extent. In 2050, Whites are projected to be a minority population in the USA. In all likelihood, your future descendants will be "Americans of African descent", too.

Cassidy
Cassidy

It's Tuesday and I can confirm that I'd still like to bend over Ms. Ramsey, wedding night or otherwise, while she reprises her role.  Mmmmmmm, mmm, mm!!  And Hilton needs to be sent out a high-rise window....

Cassidy
Cassidy

She's black, and I'd like to fill 'er up with something white -- damned translucent, even, full of carbs and protein....

Gigi
Gigi

She's obviously being self-deprecating.

Danielle
Danielle

If he does come up with someone it will likely be a ripoff of someone's schtick. Not original or clever.

Lisa
Lisa

This what you call working hard? Posting YouTube videos in a wig? What a sad existence for her. She obviously is not making much money.

Jaycecabell
Jaycecabell

White people are frowning upon you Danielle. Your ignorance is shameful.

Kiki
Kiki

Umm, she did say she was a "college student" which HELLO, probably means broke to an extent. I think we were ALL broke as college students. Unless of course, you were born into some rich family and came out the womb with a trust fund waiting. People kill me at how judegemental and ignorant they can be. Yes, posting, editing, creating videos is hard work. I'm a fan of Franchesca and I too, watch her natural hair care videos. The bottom line is that there is truth to her video and I've heard some of the things she addresses at lest twice in my life from Caucasian co-workers, classmates, associates and friends. In addition, stealing is stealing...period. Whether it took her 2 days or 2 minutes to create the video, it belongs to her and what Perez did was try to make money off of someone else's creativity, not expexting the backlash he received.

Grace_Meyer
Grace_Meyer

And she trashes white women but is all up under a white man? Talk about needing a psychologist! Such a sad case.

CharlitaH
CharlitaH

You're right I guess her being a college grad, having a full time job, doing free lance graphic design, regularly posting comedy hair and music videos aren't hard work at all. I guess that's how she won that $35,000 last year... Hmm

chescaleigh
chescaleigh

I write, film and edit all of my own videos. I've been profiled in the New York Times, The BBC, New York Daily News, The South Florida Sun Times, Essence.com & Mashable.com just to name a few. And that was BEFORE I posted this video. Last year I was selected as one of YouTube's rising stars and awarded $35,000. In 2008 I won a national contest and hosted at the Emmys red carpet. Last year I ran a half marathon and raised over $3,000 for charity. I did all that while working full time and producing at least one video a week. So yes Lisa, I work VERY HARD.

paradigm shifter
paradigm shifter

Lisa.. explain your posting on youtube non successful sad existence story to Justin Bieber.. I'm guessing your old in age and have NO IDEA how thing are done in 2012...or you're highly offended cause you say the things she she said about white girls and had NO IDEA you were guilty of it till now.. either way take a breath and let some love in..LOL this was the dopest "things people say" video ever!! HAAAAA

Mshathorskye
Mshathorskye

You definitely are ignorant to what she does and who she is. She has a 9-5 job and posts regular videos on the side... She is a talented and beautiful person inside and out... Before you speak out of your ass, please do research. Don't hurt yourself in the process though... I can see that using your brain is quite a task for you.

chescaleigh
chescaleigh

I write, film and edit all of my own videos. I've been profiled in the New York Times, The BBC, New York Daily News, The South Florida Sun Times, Essence.com & Mashable.com just to name a few. And that was BEFORE I posted this video. Last year I was selected as one of YouTube's rising stars and awarded $35,000. In 2008 I won a national contest and hosted at the Emmys red carpet. Last year I ran a half marathon and raised over $3,000 for charity. I did all that while working full time and producing at least one video a week. So yes, I work VERY HARD.

chescaleigh
chescaleigh

I write, film and edit all of my own videos. I've been profiled in the New York Times, The BBC, New York Daily News, The South Florida Sun Times, Essence.com & Mashable.com just to name a few. And that was BEFORE I posted this video. Last year I was selected as one of YouTube's rising stars and awarded $35,000. In 2008 I won a national contest and hosted at the Emmys red carpet. Last year I ran a half marathon and raised over $3,000 for charity. I did all that while working full time and producing at least one video a week. So yes Lisa, I work VERY HARD. 

Mutekuro
Mutekuro

Don't be an official idiot. Do you think this is the sum all of everything she does on youtube? To her followers she's an infinite source of wisdom on how to manage hair especially black hair and hair styled in Locs. This is one thing she did for the fun/comedy of just doing it. In particular since a lot of it is related to how people of other races see black hair. 

At the very least check out her videos before you make silly assumptions. 

Veda
Veda

Are you all really this stupid?  I wanted to use a different word, but I think your type of ignorance deserves a blunt response.  She wasn't trashing anyone in the same way that the guy who did "Shit Girls Say" wasn't trashing anyone (why wasn't anyone taking offense to the fact that the girl in his video seemed like a complete idiot?).  This video was based mainly on her best friend of 15 years.  If you are angry that she is bringing up comments made by white women in real life to black women (and if you don't think it's real, step on a college campus), you need to check yourself.  Seriously.

scarlit
scarlit

It's a shame that you can't help but rely on knee-jerk, stereotypical insults as you attempt to invalidate the points someone like Life Apprentice has tried to explain. All you've done is lend merit to the fact that women like the one she portrays in the video do exist.

Life Apprentice
Life Apprentice

@Grace_Meyer, I think you're taking this all wrong. She's making light of a serious situation where certain white women (not all white women) tend to say things that are discriminatory/offensive/insulting/hurtful against black women.

She's re-enacting what she or people like her (including myself) experience on a regular basis. This is a way to shed light on this matter in hopes that some realize how this affects people. Not to say that it always comes from a bad place. It's most likely because people just don't know. This way, more people will know and they can decided if they want to change things or not. I don't see why people are so angry to see the truth in a funny video. 

If Franscesca's mother in law said something like "I like you because you're not the stereotypical black person", that's hurtful, even though they might say "Not to sound racist" at the beginning. See what I'm saying? Not to say that black girls don't say hurtful things to white women or mixed women. That would probably be an interesting video to do as well. The point is to break down barriers based on racism. That's what I get. 

What do you find racist about what she said in her video?

Grace_Meyer
Grace_Meyer

Why are you so happy at someone making racist fun of white women? Seriously? It's not cool if it's against black women, so why is it funny against white women? This could be Franchesca's mother in law or sister in law she's making fun of. She's marrying a white man, why not have respect for his mother and sisters and aunts? His grandmother?

Plantsmantx
Plantsmantx

Just click "like" again, and it'll disappear.

Alder
Alder

Ew, ew, oh god, I went to reply to this and hit "Like" instead.  EW.

I feel so gross.  :(

Danielle
Danielle

Are you also a angry black woman?  Weave too tight?

Danielle
Danielle

You are another angry black woman.

H8rsRfunny
H8rsRfunny

Stop trolling and get a life hater... I love seeing people hate on success it shows how pathetic they really are. People like you only feel better by trying to bring others down, good luck in life, I see it being a hard road for you.

GiuliadeMedici
GiuliadeMedici

Racist, uneducated, sad, little white woman. Francesca has a job, has an education, has fame, has friends, has fans, and has a white fiancee who loves and supports her. She's got everything you don't, and you hate it for her. You're a pathetic little coward hiding behind your keyboard. Try saying what you've said to a black woman in "real life." You give white people a bad name. Misanthrope.

Lisa
Lisa

Y U ghetto?

ShellyMiscavige
ShellyMiscavige

Oh sorry, you must be equally retarded if you're sticking up for Lisa the KKK supporter.

Kristikohr
Kristikohr

Don't make fun of mentally challenged people, you piece of dung! That only shows how pathetic you are. Jerk!

ShellyMiscavige
ShellyMiscavige

Oh Lisa, it pleases me that the special schools for the mentally challenged allow you to post things on the internet.

Run back to your little life, and know that yours even at your best isn't worth 30 seconds in Franchescas.

Alder
Alder

Holy offensive racist bullshit, Batman.  Sorry we pulled you away from your cross-burning for this blog thread.

Lisa
Lisa

An affirmative action hire at KFC and doing hair does not equate success.

Danielle
Danielle

@ LisaIsAFool... angry black woman

GiuliadeMedici
GiuliadeMedici

Sad, jealous, little hater. "You and your ilk." Girl, please.

Lisa
Lisa

So many assumptions... It must be hard for you because deep down you know that you and your ilk will ALWAYS remain at the bottom of the heap.

Danielle
Danielle

@ Mutekuro... angry black woman

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