Rebecca Black recently became infamous for performing “Friday” in a music video on YouTube. Although the video was posted in February, its views skyrocketed after websites such as Comedy Central’s Tosh.0 called attention to the bubblegum pop newcomer last Friday.
Everything from her singing to the video’s story is drawing severe criticism across the web. Rolling Stone dubbed it an “unintentional parody of modern pop” and the video is now approaching 8 million views.
Why is “Friday” a Viral Video Failure?
The simple music video manages to combine multiple qualities of a viral video failure. There is a clueless quality to video stars. The story and lyrics are so bizarre, people cannot help but look at the video and share the link while telling others why they should not watch it. It is controversial because viewers are directing harsh personal criticism at a 13-year-old girl.
Other recent viral video failures share the same qualities.
Alexandra Wallace’s Controversial Racial Rant
UCLA student Alexandra Wallace’s online racial tirade also went viral over the weekend. After carefully excluding her friends, she ranted about the annoying Asians using cellphones in the school’s library. She acknowledged some might have been checking in with family members following the tsunami in Japan, but found it impolite of others to interrupt her studies. She also complained about the many family members who visited her neighbors on weekends.
According to NY Daily News, Wallace’s advice for them to follow her example and exhibit American manners ultimately led to death threats and a deluge of complaints for the university.
Baby Gaga’s Bizarre Costumes
Little Maria Aragon’s YouTube rendition of Lady Gaga’s “Born this Way” led the so-called Baby Gaga to perform on stage with Lady Gaga. However, the original Baby Gaga created controversy last June.
The bizarre “Telephone” spoof video featured a preschooler wearing heavy makeup, handcuffs and Gaga-inspired costumes. Public outcry questioned the parental wisdom of making a 3-year-old perform in that manner.
Her mother, Heidi Ladrow, responded to critics by appearing on “The Early Show” to defend her decision.
Jessi Slaughter’s Clueless Dad
Last year, 11-year-old Jessi Slaughter posted videos on a gossip website. The drama grew and her violent, profanity-laden videos went viral thanks, in part, to 4chan and attracted relentless trolls.
She continued posting videos, fueling the problem. (Know Your Meme chronicles the saga.) Her father became a meme of the moment when he cluelessly chastised the Internet at large by proclaiming “ya done goofed.”
Mike Pomranz, “Songwriting Isn’t for Everyone”, Tosh.0
Matthew Perpetua, “Why Rebecca Black’s Much-Mocked Viral Hit ‘Friday’ is Actually Good”, Rolling Stone
Philip Caulfield, “Alexandra Wallace, UCLA Student Who Ranted Against Asians, Receives Death Threats, Apologizes”, NY Daily News
“Baby Gaga Video Appropriate?”, CBS News
Jessi Slaughter, Know Your Meme