Brooklyn Paper clued us in to the new music video created by Bensonhurst’s “ice cream girl” Maria Campanella. The video, dubbed Yo Granny’s In My Garbage, paints a broad picture of a common New York phenomenon, that being the “bottle ladies” digging through garbage cans for discarded cans and bottles.
The song features a dancing woman (Tara Lopez) pretending to be Asian and tells the tale of a witless granny who goes about digging through trash cans and drinking discarded Red Bulls. It’s a pretty crass song and video that is kind of funny, but does it go too far? Brooklyn Paper asked local community leaders for their opinion.
“The way they present it is very disrespectful,” said Steve Chung, president of the United Chinese Association of Brooklyn and a member of Bensonhurst’s Community Board 11 — though he added that he didn’t believe Campanella’s intentions were necessarily bad. “I don’t think there’s any viciousness behind it, but I’m disappointed as a human being.”
In her defense, Campanella argued that she wasn’t singling out Chinese people, despite the clothes and makeup of the main character.
“If you go in any neighborhood, they got different people doing it, American-born people, Polish people, Asian people. It’s not racial profiling,” Campanella told Brooklyn Paper. “A hat doesn’t distinguish a culture. If it’s a sunny day, anybody can wear a hat like that.”
“It wasn’t meant to be a racial thing at all,” Wong told the Brooklyn Paper. “Someone who doesn’t know Maria well could potentially construe it as offensive, but that’s true with anything.”