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Civil Rights Attorney Schools Teen on Why Her Viral Blackface Video Is No ‘Joke’

A teen who went viral after appearing in a black face mask is speaking out about the incident that led to death threats and accusations of blackface.

“It was a joke,” Emmy, 16 tells “Dr. Phil” on Monday, March 19, stating her friend taped her in the mask singing a racist chant and uploaded the clip to Snapchat. “I look at my phone, and there’s just, like, my phone is popping like with death threats, and, like, people just like my friends, even telling me to kill myself and stuff. And I was like, ‘Oh my gosh. Like, people didn’t take that as a joke.’”

Civil rights attorney Areva Martin explained the racist history of blackface to Emmy, telling her that in the 19th century, white stage stars would cover their face in shoe polish and perform racial stereotypes of Black Americans.

“They perpetuated the notion that whites were superior to Blacks so when you dress in blackface you are … perpetuating that demoralizing, dehumanizing stereotype,” Martin says before advising Emmy, who said the threats became so much that she needed to leave the country to escape them, to “try Wonder Woman” if she wants to dress in costume.

Online, Twitter users made their thoughts known.

“That’s a stupid and insensitive thing to do, but I don’t think it warrants death threats,” one Twitter user said.

“Yea maybe she should leave town. How stupid and immature of this girl,” said another. “This mom needs help in every way to control her.”

Yet one person seemed to miss the message writing, “You know what who cares if they paint their face black …what is it black is off-limits? get over this black/white crap and stop taking s— so personally.”

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