Photo: Getty Images
  /  09.21.2022

Northwestern University hopped on Twitter to clear the air yesterday (Sept. 20) after social media users accused one of its students of making a racist video and posting it online. In the clip, a young Asian man sits next to a television screen watching Halle Bailey star as The Little Mermaid. Next, he puts a black mask over his face and adds a red wig. In the video, he wears a hoodie with the school’s logo.

Bailey has faced public backlash for being a Black woman starring in the live-action remake of Disney’s 1989 animated film — which features a white mermaid as Ariel. While some critics were upset that Disney decided to change Ariel’s look, many cheered on the company’s decision to allow little Black girls to see themselves in Bailey.

It’s safe to say Black Twitter was not about to let the alleged student’s disrespect slide. “Has Northwestern addressed the racist Indonesian man who made that disgusting Little Mermaid mockery, yet?” one tweet read. Other posts listed the university’s phone number to the International Programs Department and the Dean’s Office urging social media users to call and alert the school of the young man’s behavior.

The school heard the complaints loud and clear and released a statement. “We have learned of a racist video that is circulating on social media,” Dean Hari Osofsky began. “Based on our investigation, we have confirmed that the person who made this video is not a current student, but someone with a similar name appears to be a former student at the law school,” the Northwestern official continued.

Osofsky condemned the viral clip, adding, “The views expressed in the video in question are abhorrent and disgusting. The university’s and law school’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion is unwavering. We strongly denounce the video.” Osofsky shared the statement via Twitter and her post was retweeted by Northwestern University.

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