A song from YG’s debut album is at the center of debate at YouTube’s headquarters over the song’s anti-Asian sentiment in the wake of the Atlanta shooting last week. According to Bloomberg, YouTube refused to pull “Meet The Flockers” from its platform after staff members cautioned over the song’s offensive content towards Asian-Americans.
In “Meet The Flockers,” YG details the ins-and-outs of performing a robbery in which he targets a Chinese neighborhood specifically. “You find a house and scope it out/ Find a Chinese neighborhood ’cause they don’t believe in bank accounts,” he raps on the My Krazy Life song. Employees posted on internal message boards where they railed against the executives who decided against removing the song from their platform.
“We find this video to be highly offensive and understand it is painful for many to watch, including many in Trust & Safety and especially given the ongoing violence against the Asian community,” the executives wrote in an email to staff members. They acknowledge that the lyrics could violate their hate speech policy but they said there are exceptions to be made for video clips that have an Educational, Documentary, Scientific or Artistic (EDSA) context.
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“While we debated this decision at length amongst our policy experts, we made the difficult decision to leave the video up to enforce our policy consistently and avoid setting a precedent that may lead to us having to remove a lot of other music on YouTube,” the email concluded.
An employee at the company fired back at the company’s response to the complaint on an internal message board that earned over 400 upvotes. “This is your perfect opportunity to demonstrate your leadership as a lead for ‘Racial Justice Initiative.’ Which side of the Edmund Pettus Bridge do you want to be on?” the response reads.
Check out the full email from YouTube on Bloomberg.