There’s a reason why #YouTubeBlack is a thing! Marginalized voices finding a platform on which they can speak and be heard is important, so when Kat Blaque took to Twitter claiming she had been silenced by Google, our ears perked up!
Blaque, for the unfamiliar, is a YouTube personality and transgender activist. She recently posted a screenshot of a notice she received from YouTube on Twitter that stated one of her videos had been removed.
The video in question was a video Blaque said was a “educational” look at Sarah Baartman. Called “JEAN PAUL GOUDE & THE HOTTENTOT VENUS,” Blaque’s video addressed the 2014 Kim Kardashian “Break the Internet” cover of PAPER magazine, and the connections between that image and the historical image of Sarah Baartman, a black woman toured through Europe as a “freak show” curiosity in the 1800s.
@YouTube I just received this message that you’ve, not demonetized, but removed a video that I did YEARS ago about Sarah Baartman, a black woman who was hypersexualized and exploited across Europe in the 19th Century. This video was educational and you removed it. pic.twitter.com/NsqGcLqeD6— Kat Blaque (@kat_blaque) January 8, 2018
Blaque went on to lament that the removal was just the latest in a long line of incidents that had her questioning YouTube as a company, and the site’s overall culture.
And I was really excited to sit down and produce this content, but shit like this really really really discourages me and it’s one of the many reasons why I’ve become really disenchanted with Youtube as a platform.— Kat Blaque (@kat_blaque) January 8, 2018
To @YouTube , i am nothing more than a sales pitch.— Kat Blaque (@kat_blaque) January 8, 2018
To @YouTube , I am nothing more than a black, woman who’s trans whomarks off diversity points with little to no effort. They get to feel so empowered and look so good by inviting me to things. By including me in things.— Kat Blaque (@kat_blaque) January 8, 2018
And the reality is that none of these companies will every give a fuck about what I’m doing because what i’m doing doesn’t make them money.— Kat Blaque (@kat_blaque) January 8, 2018
So I’m gonna make what I’m gonna make. I’m gonna put it where it can be seen, but I’m not going to hella participate on Youtube really. Might not even upload there because apparently my very vanilla work is too much for the platform. lol.— Kat Blaque (@kat_blaque) January 8, 2018
My work is very baby’s first activism, and ya’ll can’t take. That’s interesting. lol. Anyways….— Kat Blaque (@kat_blaque) January 8, 2018
YouTube responded to her tweets with an apology, tweeting that the removal was an “error.” The video has since been restored to the site.
Appreciate you reaching out and letting us know about the video removal, this was an error on our side and we confirmed the video is now back up. Our apologies.
— TeamYouTube (@TeamYouTube) January 8, 2018
We’re glad the video is back up, and shout-out to Kat Blaque for speaking her truth!
You can watch Kat Blaque’s super informative video, and learn more about Baartman below: