I was sent a link Sunday afternoon to a video on Instagram. The video was visually simple enough. A girl sitting in front of a wall wearing headphones. It looked like a standard music or opinion video was about to begin. But what the simple-looking video contained was exactly what one commenter so perfectly coined as the “best race bit since Chapelle’s racial draft.”
Comedy is back and Nicole Arbour brought it.
Race Wars 2021 — the bit that can be found on Nicole’s Instagram — is some of the most clever comedy writing seen in a decade. And we know it is, because while the girl known as the “verbal sniper” takes swings at every race and every group, the comment section is full of each of those races laughing at (gasp) themselves.
She did it. She cracked the 2021 comedy code.
There was no victim. There was no group outraged. Viewers took hits and everyone loved it because they had no choice…she was right. She told the truth, and it felt like the early 2000s comedy again!
Latinos commented they loved the jokes about Latinos. Black viewers commented this is the best comedy they’ve seen in years. A Korean fan asked to be included in the next video.
Nicole Arbour made funny funny again. But it didn’t come without the big tech pushback comedians are growing accustomed to.
She posted on her stories that Instagram shadow banned her for posting the video that garnered over 550,000 views in a few hours. While some say shadow banning (aka: Instagram purposely hiding accounts they may not agree with for a period of time) has been called a myth by Instagram, I myself was unable to search for Nicole’s page, verifying it is in fact true. 1.3 million followers with a verified account, but she didn’t show up in the search bar at first. The workaround: type in ibnicolearbour all the way through or click the link above.
This type of content censorship is exactly why there has been mass pushback on the platforms the last few months. What was her crime? Satire. Did it violate any terms? Unlikely. Will she keep going? Most definitely.
After a quick scroll through her tear inducing videos, it’s clear I’m late to the Nicole Arbour party when her followers include Paris Hilton, Joe Rogan, Billionaire Grant Cardone, and Texas Congressman Dan Crenshaw. Her sports ASMR video made me spit out my coffee with the NBA line, and the Ask Nicole segment was reminiscent of when Late Night was edgy. Now, we get to watch a parade of celebrities make TikToks with the host. Riveting.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the next time I write about Nicole Arbour it’s to say she locked in a film and TV deal because Netflix or Amazon would be crazy not to scoop her up as fast as they can. She’s refreshingly hilarious, honest, and has a magical way of bringing everyone together to laugh at themselves. Satire is back, and she is my favorite new follow.