Cheer Star Gabi Butler Speaks Out After Blackface Photo Surfaces – And Her Explanation Is To Blame Everyone Else!?
Ick. Cheer star Gabi Butler has been put on blast after an old photo revealed she once (very happily) wore blackface — and her response is NOT IT.
If you don’t know, blackface is a form of theatrical makeup that was once used predominantly by non-Black people to portray a caricature of a Black person. It is deeply rooted in racism, and, unfortunately, it has a long history in our country. While it has been widely criticized in recent years, apparently not everyone realized it was so harmful…
Earlier this week, a photo of Gabi, who gained fame in Netflix’s docuseries about the Navarro College cheer squad, caught fire on social media. In the image, she sits in a car wearing all-black clothes with her face painted black, as you can see (below).
Naturally, users were both shocked and horrified at the sight (though not everyone was surprised considering the school is based in Texas, which has its own issue with racism).
Amid the backlash, the reality star took to Twitter on Monday with a lengthy explanation — in which she managed to take absolutely NO responsibility for her actions and put the rest of the cheer team on blast in one fell swoop!
In an official statement concerning the resurfaced photograph, which was shared by an anonymous Twitter account (which she did not refer to by name in the post), Gabi wrote:
“I have been made aware an anonymous cheer Twitter account posted a picture of me with the intent to untruthfully slander my character. This statement is meant to set the record straight.”
Mmkay. The 24-year-old continued:
“In 2018, I was in my first year at Navarro College just prior to leaving for Daytona. All members of my rookie class were told by our veteran teammates we had to come to an initiation at CTA (the Allstar location off campus where we practiced). The veterans made us dress in all black and paint our faces all black. The rookie class followed instructions by wearing black clothing and painted faces; certain members wore ski masks as they did not have face paint. My rookie teammates, including a few who also happened to be people of color, were asked to do this and we complied with the request as we did not want to get in trouble with said veterans.”
Did you catch the ski mask comment?? Turns out there was a less racist way to comply with the instructions, she just didn’t choose it! SMH.
Instead of going on to apologize for her mistake, Gabi used the next portion of her statement to put the rest of the teammates on blast for also doing blackface as well, essentially bringing everyone down with her. She noted:
“The picture circulating social media was taken in the parking lot of CTA prior to the initiation. Accompanying this statement is proof of the veteran’s request as well as pictures and videos of some of my other rookie teammates who followed the same instructions. I hope these teammates will stand behind me and verify this to be an accurate account of what happened that day. I am sorry I need to pull my teammates into this, but I have no choice but to speak the truth about this situation since the lie has been spread across social media.”
More like sorry, not sorry!
Along with the statement, the athlete shared several photos of other teammates in black face paint as well as a screenshot from another teammate with the dress code instructions for the initiation event. Click on the post (below) to see all her so-called evidence.
We can’t help but point out that she was never instructed to paint her face black. Instead, she was told to “not inch of skin showing” and that “everything should be covered in black.” Hence, the ski masks were a perfect option! But alas, she and several others chose the paint instead, and she’s not sorry about it, she added:
“I am not racist and would never do something to make fun of anyone nor be hurtful to any person of color. I have a deep love for all of my friends and family, regardless of their skin color, and I believe in my soul that we are all amazing souls created by God to love one another. If anyone was harmed by this false attempt to frame me as something I am not, I am truly sorry. However, I will not allow this narrative to continue and paint me in a false light — it is trying to make it look as though I was doing something harmful and hateful. This is simply untrue. I also believe that we as a community need to stand up and call out these anonymous Twitter accounts for continuing to spread gossip, rumors, and falsely characterized posts that are made with no regard for the truth and have no accountability for who they might harm. It’s time for us as a people to be better than this.
As always, Thank You to all of my friends and fans who have continued to support my journey and have stood by my side. I can never express enough how much I appreciate your support.”
Why does it sound like she’s more determined to stop anonymous Twitter accounts once and for all than to be anti-racist?! Jeez.
Gabi soon followed up with a clap back to fans claiming she should have just skipped out on the blackface tradition… and, well, her reaction pretty much sums up how ignorant she was and continues to be about the racist makeup. She tweeted separately:
“For those saying I shouldn’t have participated, there is one simple reason why I didn’t refuse this request. I had never even heard of blackface and had no idea it was even a thing. If I had thought this request had anything to do with racism I would have absolutely refused.”
Look, her being uneducated on the topic isn’t an acceptable excuse for what she did. A better response would have been to acknowledge she was unaware of the history behind blackface at the time and admit she f**ked up. She’s certainly not the first person to be called out for participating in a racist college tradition! But it’s about how you make amends for your wrongdoings that matters, and this reaction just isn’t helping her case at all. Sigh… At this time, Navarra College and head coach Monica Aldama have yet to make a statement. Reactions, Perezcious readers?! SOUND OFF (below)!
To learn more about civil rights issues, check out https://www.splcenter.org/.
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