A 90-second video went viral on social media for using exotic dancers to encourage those in Atlanta, specifically Black men "often overlooked by the political establishment," to vote in the upcoming November election, NPR reported on Monday (October 5).
The video, Get Your Booty To The Poll, features exotic dancers swinging on poles and performing while other dancers speak about why voting in local elections matters. The performers and the stage were also decked with patriotic flare.
"A district attorney decides not to prosecute," one dancer said in the video. "Including whether or not to go after dirty cops. Do you know who elects the DA? We do, but you don't want to vote."
Angela Barnes, the director of the video, worked with the Paul Fox, the producer, to fill in a gap in traditional voting messaging, where Black men are usually left out of the equation. The video is also aimed at the Atlanta audience.
"Atlanta has a strip club culture. People go out and go on dates at strip clubs, people get married and have funerals at strip clubs," Barnes, who is from Atlanta, said. "You know, people don't go there just to see like, naked people. You go there for the vibe."
She added that the dancers in the video either worked in Atlanta area clubs or are competitive dancers.
While Black Americans are a loyal constituency in the Democratic Party, there may be a gap between Black men and women when it comes to voter turnout.
The Pew Research Center estimated that 54% of eligible Black men said they voted in 2016 versus the 64% of eligible Black women who said the same thing. This illustrates a larger gender gap in the Black community versus white or Hispanic voters.
The video has garnered much criticism, including stereotyping Black men and being too explicit. Journalist Tariq Nasheed called out the video on Twitter, as well.
"Instead of talking about our tangibles, this is what the white Democrats think will appeal to us," Nasheed said, followed by a facepalm emoji.
Barnes said the team made it nonpartisan to avoid this type of criticism. She added that adding she and Fox largely funded the video themselves and are unaffiliated with any organization. The project raised over $13,000 on GoFundMe.
"People don't really like to be told who to vote for, and my concern was that if we made this one side or the other, people would think, 'Oh, they're just trying to get us to vote for them,'" she said. "And it's funny because it ended up kind of happening anyway."
Click HERE to see the viral PSA.
Photo: Getty Images