The Newest Get-Out-the-Vote Tactic Is a PSA Starring Exotic Dancers
‘Get Your Booty to the Poll’ is anything but politics as usual
Last month, the bare backside of a voluptuous Black woman popped up in my Facebook feed. Wearing a white G-string and stilettos, she sauntered up a small staircase toward a stripper pole. My eyes couldn’t turn away, as cutaway shots of other lithe women began to play in rapid succession — all of them performing exotic dance tricks, pole swinging, and booty popping. When I finally turned the volume up, I realized that this wasn’t a music video.
“Did we get your attention?” an exotic dancer asked.
Over the next minute, seven professional dancers from Atlanta explained the importance of voting in this year’s elections. They zeroed in on specific issues— from police brutality to criminal justice reform to job training in various trades — all without mentioning a political party or candidate.
I quickly realized that this political spot was not targeting me, a middle-class African American woman who’s voted in every election over the past two decades. The aptly titled “Get Your Booty to the Poll” clip — directed by Angela Barnes, a Black woman — sought to reach an oft-forgotten constituency: Black male nonvoters. With more than 400,000 YouTube views, several reaction videos, and coverage on news broadcasts and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, the ad has gone viral. And while we may never truly know the video’s impact in a pivotal election season, it’s clear that the clip got a rise out of folks.
“I’m just a 40-something-year-old mom who wanted to figure out how to make the world better for her kids,” says Barnes, an Atlanta-based director whose credits include Moesha, House of Payne, and Atlanta. “I want their lives to be good. I want their lives to be safe. I don’t want them…