*I wrote this open letter in response to Kiely Williams’ music video “Spectacular.” It was sent to her manager at Ninelivesent@gmail.com.
In your disclaimer for the video, “Spectacular” you state that this song and video was created to ”bring attention to a serious womens health and safety issue.” I appreciate this intention, but simply raising awareness without being critical, can be dangerous.
What message does “Spectacular” send to our girls?
It communicates the idea that it is “cool” and “worth it” to have non-consensual, unprotected sex as long as it is “Spectacular.” On top of this the song reinforces the dangerous notion that we are invincible at a time when 1 in 2 black girls has an sti/std in this country.
This is both irresponsible and dangerous.
If you are truly interested in raising awareness, as the disclaimer under your video states, you would have approached this song and video with a more critical lens– not a glorification of sexual promiscuity and unprotected, non-consensual sex. Decisions around sex while under the influence of alcohol, are difficult to qualify as consensual. This is why some argue that your song makes light of date-rape.
My intent is not to demonize you. Clearly, this issue is bigger than you.
At the same time, if you are going to bring attention to an issue like this, I urge you to do it in a way that raises consciousness, not in a way that fuels stereotypes and glamorizes the problem.
I am asking you to please choose better, for the sake of our girls and our community.
Kiely’s Video Response:
Update: Kiely’s manager has responded to my email.
Readers: To get involved in this open letter campaign, write Kiely’s manager at Ninelivesent@gmail.com and make your letter public. Please note that the Open Letter effort does not condone hate mail, which is counterproductive.
See more Open Letters/Responses:
Alicia’s Open Letter
Moya’s Open Letter
LaShon’s Open Letter
David’s Open Letter
T’Sey-haye’s Open Letter
(new!) Chakka’s vlog
Danni Romano’s Open Letter
Statement from The Women’s Media Center
This is the first of several media activist efforts, since ultimately, this is bigger than this one artist. Stay tuned for the FAAN MAIL project (Fostering Activism and Alternatives Now).