Todrick Hall Responds to Critics of His Titanic Parody

September 28th 2015

On the upcoming episode of his MTV docuseries "Todrick," YouTube sensation Todrick Hall highlights the rocky history behind "Titaniqua," his "Titanic" parody re-imagined with mostly Black people.

Hall, a versatile performer who tackles important social issues in his series, says "Titanic" is one of his favorite movies, and that his mother always wondered how the tragedy would have played out had the boat been filled with Black people when it sunk in 1912. (A few years ago, he recreated "Beauty and the Beast" with mostly Black people as well.)

In "Titaniqua," Hall portrays his own version of Jack Dawson, famously played by Leonardo DiCaprio in the 1998 Oscar winning film, and fellow YouTube star Jenna Marbles assumes the role of Rose.

"My mom was like, '[The Titanic could have had] a whole bunch of Black people on there, we would have found a way to survive,'" Hall says in the his new episode, which includes behind the scenes footage of the video production process.

Why some may call "Titaniqua" offensive.

Hall, who has been questioned by some for the way he approaches race and sexual orientation in videos, received some backlash during the making of "Titaniqua." He was prepared for some raised eyebrows, as his "Beauty and the Beast" parody upset certain people who felt it perpetuated negative stereotypes about the Black community. Hall addresses these concerns in the upcoming episode of "Todrick."

"It's not my intention to totally degrade our race," he says. "I don't want to be afraid to express myself because some people are offended by every single video that we do ... For me, I think this is more funny than it is making fun of my race. You gotta find the things that everybody recognizes, that everybody knows, that we've all thought about but no one has said out loud."

Singer Thurzday, who has known Hall for several years, was initially reluctant to participate in "Titaniqua" because of the way it portrays race.


"I just feel like [there's] this ongoing damage to society," she says in the episode. "I know that it's not up to us to fix it, but I just think that we should be more aware moving forward in what it's doing."

Hall sympathizes with Thurzday's concerns about promoting a potentially harmful message about the Black community. That said, he also doesn't want to subject his work to political correctness, as people complain about his videos all of the time and getting bogged down by the noise could ultimately hinder his creativity. Hall adds that we must maintain a conversation about important societal issues even if it makes some people uncomfortable.

An openly gay Texas native, Hall is a staunch advocate for freedom of expression and using creativity to fight critics. Earlier this month, his docuseries took fans through the making of his music video for "Haterz," which is about being strong and true to oneself in the face of criticism and bullying. As ATTN: previously noted, "Haterz" is a socially responsible song because bullying remains a huge issue in our culture, leading some kids to even take their lives.

"['Haterz'] is [an] anthem for kids who are underdogs, for those who dare to be different," Hall previously said. "I want to celebrate the people who helped me through such a rough time when I was trying to discover who I was."

Share your opinion

Do you think American society is too concerned about being politically correct?

No 16%Yes 84%