WATCH: 20-Year-Old Talkshow Appearance Shows Spice Girls Chastising Host for Promoting Blackface
— 20 Years of Spice (@SpiceGirlsFilm) March 9, 2017
In 2017, we are still combating blackface, so the above video might be a little disheartening.
It shows the Spice Girls giving a talkshow host the business for laughing about and featuring white people wearing dark skin paint. (Note that this was not their only experience chastising in the name of social justice.) At one point, Mel B, a woman of color, exclaimed disbelievingly, “It’s the Nineties!”
Judging by the women’s hairstyles, this interview took place in or around 1997. According to Noisey, the quintet was faced with the Dutch and Belgian holiday tradition of white people dressing as Black Pete, a helper of sorts for the region’s Santa figure, Sinterklaas.
They protested the painted-up performers even being brought out on stage, but the host chose to do it anyway and the people in blackface laughed the whole time. The look on Mel B’s face says it all.
She told the host calmly that blackface is inappropriate and that people in the region should find “proper black people” to roleplay the part.
The host didn’t care and repeatedly talked over her, insisting it’s tradition and culture.
“Update your culture,” shot back Ginger Spice.
This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.