After yet another white woman went viral for unnecessarily calling the cops on a black person doing something ordinary, the Saturday Night Live actress and fellow comedian Rashida Olayiwola took to Instagram to poke fun. The end result? One hilarious “biopic” that definitely did its source material justice.
In the video, Olayiwola films Strong, who is wearing a blonde wig, as she calls the police on flowers for drinking water, on a black dog for drinking water, as well as the toilet for using water.
“They’re illegally drinking my water, okay?” Strong’s character nervously babbles while trying to hide her face from the camera by ducking under a coffee table and behind cabinets.
Strong’s character is based off of Alison Ettel, dubbed #PermitPatty by the internet. Ettel threw herself into the internet’s wrath when she called the police on an elementary school girl in San Francisco for selling water in front of her apartment building on Friday. The girl’s mother captured the whole debacle and posted it to Instagram, where commenters quickly ripped into Ettel.
“This woman don’t want a little girl to sell some water, she’s calling the police on an eight-year-old girl,” the mom said in the clip. Ettel can be seen ducking and dodging the camera, true to Strong’s portrayal in the parody. #PermitPatty joins Oakland’s “#BBQBecky” and an ever-growing list of white women who just can’t seem to mind their own business in public spaces, much to everyone else’s dismay (and safety).
It goes without saying that calling the cops on people of color, particularly when they’re not doing anything remotely wrong, can have some serious consequences. Though according to Ettel, she only “pretended” to call the cops.
Ettel told HuffPost that the incident has left her feeling “horrible and heart-wrenched,” and only escalated to this level because the girl’s mother was “screaming.” “I had been putting up with this for hours, and I just snapped,” Ettel said, denying her decision to make the pretend call had anything to do with race.
Insert a heavy sigh. Incidents like these — and the excuses that follow — truly are exhausting, but at least we’ve got comedians like Strong and Olayiwola are committed to keep us laughing through the B.S.