by Lauren Southern
Canadian comedian and entertainer Nicole Arbour recently posted a controversial video called “Dear Fat People,” which pokes fun at overweight individuals. She clarified that this is a lighthearted jab at people who are fully capable of losing their extra chub; a reality check for those who are offended by suggestions to follow a healthier lifestyle. The video went viral, but took a turn for the worse when the perpetually offended got up in arms – as Nicole predicted within the first ten seconds of the video. She was painted as hateful, offensive and “fat phobic,” even though Nicole is a comedian who jokes about all groups, from rednecks and Italians to midgets and Instagram models. She doesn’t discriminate in her humor, whether you find it funny or not.
Initially there were many supporters of Nicole’s free speech after her channel was temporarily shut down and her Google+ was suspended due to the supposedly offensive video. Her channel is back up now, but the backlash to her “wrong think” has continued.
On top of all of this, Nicole has now been accused of abusive behavior towards her ex-boyfriend Matthew Santoro. Rob Dyke, a friend of her ex, claims Nicole abused Matt emotionally, threatened him and even hit him. The video where Rob comes out with these allegations can be found here.
Rob’s story conveniently came out while Nicole’s popularity was spiking, and has only added more fuel for those attacking her. The angle he took has laid the groundwork for a real movement against her, and in doing so he has managed to unite a mob from both sides of the culture war. Those in support of free speech and those who want censorship.
Rob Dyke went public with these accusations only a few days ago. In response the internet blew up; bloggers and commentators jumped on the bandwagon before hearing her side of the story, and trust me she has one to tell.
In a private interview with me, Nicole related:
“Blowing up online quickly has come with a lot of surprises. One of them has been an ex boyfriend trying to use the press from my video(s) to gain more views on his own and pad his social media numbers.
We broke up initially because when my videos started getting more views than his, he wanted to focus more on work, I agreed I’d never stand in the way of his goals, and that was that. He had been under enormous stress for months and believed to have suffered multiple nervous breakdowns. When he didn’t want to make videos anymore because of the stress, myself and a production team I have stepped in and took over the majority of his productions to help his career keep moving forward. We wrote, did the research for, and produced on his fastest growing and most successful videos this year. We were also hired to run his social media and upping the “funny” on his pages/ videos, resulted in massive growth which the entire team was proud of. Matt however, refused to credit myself, or the young talented team steering his ship.
After he suffered what he believed to be a nervous breakdown in about Feb at an event, and began crying hysterically, lying, and breaking things. He was drunk, and went to drive home so I slapped him.
Following what turned into blowing what should have been a very private and sad experience very much out of proportion, Matt reached out to my family and friends to apologize.
He spoke to everyone about the pressures of sudden fame, how there is no manual, and being in love with someone I believed we have to take the good with the bad because we’re all people just trying to figure things out.
As someone who has experienced severe chronic pain due to a car accident as well as the mood swings and depression that can come with that, I felt for him, forgave him, and we started dating again a few weeks later.
We continued to date and were quite happy until I saw him start to “spin” again a few weeks ago. Knowing this is a warning sign and seeing my videos getting more views than his was affecting him, I decided just being friends was best. Both myself, my family and friends were worried for him and had spoken with him about slowing down because he was becoming manic more often. Shorty [sic] after we broke up, he reached out to a group of people he had spent our entire relationship telling me were “toxic” “bad friends” and “dangerous” to rekindle relationships. I don’t believe in talking poorly behind someone’s back, and being good to their face so that ended our friendship. I couldn’t trust him.
Since then I have received various emails from Matt basically threatening to blackmail me by releasing private photos, videos, and messages taken throughout our relationship to the press as well as creating a full on attack on my character for press. It’s hard to believe someone who felt so threatened went on family vacation with me just a few weeks ago, and only a week ago reached out to my best friends to hang out.
I’m sad for him, I hope he seeks the treatment he needs, I wish him the best, and I hope this story doesn’t affect anyone’s faith in love.”
Nicole admitted to hitting Matt – which is wrong – but she has claimed it was under completely different circumstances than Rob Dyke described. Making assumptions on either party’s situation until substantial evidence or even a defense is released is unfair and a part of the problem with these “hate mobs.” These mobs that do not allow room for real discussion or search for truth because they are too swept up in the emotional momentum of a divisive situation.
It should be common sense to make a substantial case before attempting to ruin someone’s life. Regardless of your thoughts on Nicole’s video content, not being critical of word of mouth rumors can lead to toxic results. That goes for both Nicole and Rob Dyke’s respective stories.2 comments