Is it racist to bench press your Filipino friend?
Math teacher-turned-model Pietro Boselli’s latest workout video came under fire last week by viewers on Facebook and YouTube who objected to the model’s use of a Filipino man as a prop and referencing him as “that” and “my weight.”
“You did not just go to an island in the Philippines and pretend to catch a person of color in the wild to use as a tool for your workout so that you can exploit it for monetisation on your YouTube channel?,” wrote one YouTube viewer.
“This is outrageous,” wrote another. “The Filipino man is referred to by the white man (Pietro Boselli) as ‘that’ and ‘my weight’, he doesn’t have a name, neither do we see his face clearly, nor do we hear him speak, he is purely an object to be used by the white man, and must be approached ‘slowly because he can get scared and start running’?”
Many other viewers were fine with the video and rose to Boselli’s defense.
Boselli addressed some of the criticisms his video received in a new interview with the Telegraph UK.
“I am so far removed from racism that I cannot possibly see anything racist about a funny video I have made with my friend Danel (the Filipino man in the video),” he said.
“We all have differences but we are all the same as human beings. I have and always will respect everyone. If anyone sees any racism in this video, they probably have racism in their head. I and Danel alike, still think this is a light hearted and funny video.”