Hollaback harassment video criticised over race of men

New York video gains 15 million views since release by advocacy group

A video of a young woman being sexually harassed on the streets of New York has sparked debate and criticism since going viral.

The video has gained over 15 million views since its release earlier this week by advocacy group Hollaback.

It has come under some criticism for its portrayal of black and Latino men, with writer and columnist such as Roxane Gay pointing to the lack of white men featured in the video, tweeting: “she didn’t walk through any white neighbourhoods?”.

The video's creator Robert Bliss responded to the criticism. "We got a fair amount of white guys, but for whatever reason, a lot of what they said was in passing, or off camera," he said in a post on Reddit.


Will Ferrell's Funny or Die online channel, has quickly responded with its own take on the video entitled "10 hours of walking in NYC as a man", which features 5 minutes of non-stop high-fives and offers of Starbucks gift-cards. It signs off with "If you want to help, please do nothing. Leave patriarchy in place."

Emily May, the founder of Hollaback said on the whole the response has been overwhelmingly positive. "It's hitting a nerve. We've had a number of rape threats and violent threats against Shoshana and we're pulling those down as quickly as possible, but they exist," she told The Washington Post.

Hollabackhas been campaigning against sexual harassment since 2005, said that the actor who stars in the campaign, Shoshana B Roberts, has been receiving rape threats on Twitter since the video gained popularity.

In the meantime Emily May of Hollaback spoke at Columbia University yesterday in an effort to show support for the #carrythatweight campaign. This added to the video's momentum on social media.

The Carrying The Weight Together movement originated in the university campus a month ago, when a Columbia student, Emma Sulkowicz, began carrying a mattress around with her. She says

Ms Sulkowicz, who has alleged she was raped, said she will drag the mattress around until the student who raped her is expelled from the college.

The campaign moved beyond the university in yesterday’s demonstrations, with over 10,000 people declaring themselves to be involved across the United States.