The Situation That Led to Sweet Brown's Statement
On the morning of Saturday, April 7, 2012, a blazing fire broke out at the Chateau Deville Apartment Community near NW 23rd Street and Villa in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Oklahoma City's NBC Affiliate, NewsChannel 4, was quickly on the scene, where they reported that 5 apartment homes had been destroyed in the fire.
Apparently, the blaze was started in the unite of a wheelchair bound resident. The woman was not seriously injured, but she was taken to the local hospital and treated for smoke inhalation.
The entire complex was without electricity for an undisclosed amout of time. The American Red Cross came to the aid of the families that were displaced by the fire, and that was, pretty much, the end of the story. But....
It just so happens, that one of the apartments displaced by the fire at the Chateau Deville Apartments was a woman by the name of Kimberly Wilkins, better known by her nickname, "Sweet Brown."
Sweet Brown's Actual Statement
One of the KFOR, NewsChannel 4 reporters spotted Kimberly Brown wandering around the site of the fire, so they decided to interview her. Her now famous statement about the blaze is as follows:
What Sweet Brown Said
“Well, I woke up to get me a cold pop and then I thought somebody was barbecuing. I said, ‘Oh Lord Jesus, it’s a fire.’ Then I ran out, I didn’t grab no shoes or nothing, Jesus. I ran for my life and then the smoke got me, I got bronchitis! Ain’t nobody got time for that.”
— Kimberly "Sweet Brown" Wilkins
The Embarassment & The Controversy
while Kimberly Wilkins was being interviewed, her son, who can be seen covering his face and shaking his head in what appears to be embarrassment, paced behind her.
The controversy surrounding the video is as it has always been, it has to do with news teams purposely targeting out a "certain type" of person to interview whenever there is a disaster. This, "certain type" of person is usually one who is not in an "optimal" position to give an Interview.
Basically, reporters tend to pick a person for an "on the scene interview," who is not well dressed, not well-spoken, and in an agitated state. Granted, there may not have been anyone around who was in an optimal position to give an interview, but almost certainly, there would have been someone else the camera could have focused on.
It is often viewed as a racist tactic, but the chosen interviewee does not necessarily have to belong to a racial minority, poor people of all races, creeds and colors are often chosen at their worst. This tactic is chosen in order to get more views, and ultimately earn the media outlet more money.
This tactic angered many people who see it for what it truly is, and it created quite a controversy, but the video and the remix of Sweet Brown's video taped statement went viral and earned her a certain amount of fame, or infamy as others may have seen it.
Without further ado, the original "Sweet Brown" video, along with the remix are shown below:
Sweet Brown "Ain't Nobody Got Time for That!"
YouTube Sensation (Viral Video)
As soon as the video was discovered by the public in general, many YouTubers got ahold of it and it became a YouTube sensation. The original video, as well as, the remixes became famous. Here is one of the first YouTube remixes that took the workd by storm, it garnered more than 50 million views thus far. If you know anything about Making Money on YouTube, you know that views mean money if the channel is partnered.
Sweet Brown "Aint Nobody Got Time For That!" Autotune Remix
Sweet Brown on KFOR NewsChannel 4 OKC
Jimmy Kimmel Features Queen Latifah as "Sweet Brown"
What About Kimberly Wilkins?
As far as Kimberly "Sweet Brown" Wilkins is concerened, the attention that she has received because of the video has earned her guest spots on "The View," a segment on NewsChannel 4 Studios, a wildly popular Jimmy Kimmel parody, and a lawsuit against Apple.
The interview at NewsChannel 4 was done by Linda Cavanaugh, it featured Kimberly and her son Stanford. The interview was lighthearted and it focused on the then newly found fame the video garnered.
The lawsuit surrounded Wilkins suing Apple for a couple of songs being released on iTunes which used her statements without her permission. According to an article in NewsOK, the lawsuit was dismissed due to "failure to prosecute."
As far as the Jimmy Kimmel Parody is concerned, it featured Queen Latifah as Kimberly, and the skit was a breakout hit for Kimmel.
Let's face it, whether you agree with the controversy or not, just about anyone with half a brain would like to be given a chance to cleanup for a television appearance, and most of us have been in embarrassing situations that we would not want to have ended up on Youtube or any other video outlet.
All in all, Kimberly Wilkins doesn't seem to be bothered by the negative aspects of the video, she seems to be a nice, unassuming woman who happened to be caught for an interview at a bad time, but she hasn't dwelled on the negative, instead she appears to be taking it all in stride.
Hopefully, some of that money Jimmy Kimmel, and dozens of YouTubers made off of her fame found its way into her pockets, if not, it would be a crying shame.
How Did You Feel About Sweet Brown's Video?
- Oklahoma City apartment complex catches fire, 5 units damaged; Sweet Brown explains | KFOR.com
OKLAHOMA CITY - An apartment fire kept fire crews busy Saturday morning near N.W. 23rd St. and Villa. The blaze broke out at the Chateau Deville Apartments and damaged five units in all. Sweet Brown said, “Well, I woke up to get me a cold pop and the
- 'Sweet Brown' 'ain't got time' to sue Apple | News OK
A lawsuit filed by Oklahoma City Internet celebrity Kimberly “Sweet Brown” Wilkins against Apple Inc. has been dismissed due to “failure to prosecute,” court records show.
- Ain't Nobody Got Time for That - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jennifer Mugrage from Columbus, Ohio on July 13, 2017:
I enjoyed the original interview because Sweet Brown appears sweet, attractive, and has a unique way of speaking. Her statement is so much more colorful in video than in print because she make such good use of nonverbals like pauses, eye contact, and dramatic intonation. And the most famous line "Ain't nobody got time for that!," in my view became famous because it perfectly caps off her little speech. She delivers it with a twinkle, with more energy than the rest of her story, and though it's not a standard dialect, it seems to capture the situation so perfectly.
I never thought about the fact that reporters might try to pick the least educated (-seeming) person present to interview, but now that you point it out, it makes perfect sense. If the person is disheveled, it makes the disaster seem more dramatic, which is good television. If the person is not very articulate, it makes the reporter look good by comparison. And if, like Sweet Brown, they are confident in front of the camera, colorful, and adorable with a dialect that has some built-in drama to it ... well, that's good television too.
I do agree with you that this kind of choice of interviewee could be intentionally or unintentionally snobby. It's hard to avoid an element of that if you are working in media and can't really relate to the working class or take them seriously as intelligent people. I think your complaint is especially valid if a poorly spoken interviewee is chosen to represent one side in a debate on some important issue, such as school choice or gun control.
As Jeff Foxworthy says, "If two or more of your relatives have ever appeared on TV describing what the tornado sounded like ... you might be a redneck!"
I also agree with you that such choices are not necessarily racist, but are still problematic. If we are being condescended to ... well, it's nice if it's not racism, but it's still condescension.
About Sweet Brown making money off this ... I heard she had her own brand of BBQ sauce. Or was that just an urban legend?
ThatSweetGirl on May 26, 2015:
Ain't Nobody Got Time for That! :D
Nathan Bernardo from California, United States of America on May 20, 2015:
That is very interesting, I didn't know the backstory of the meme I've seen many times. I too hope she's made some money off the whole thing, probably she's made some through television appearances.
poetryman6969 on May 20, 2015:
With any luck, she made some money off this. It seems to me that folks with a lot less to offer the world make a lot of money off a lot less.