On August 7th, a secretly recorded video of Corina Monica, an aspiring Floridian singer, targeting an Asian American nail salon employee was posted on Twitter and went viral. The roughly two minutes long clip begins when a nail technician refuses to finish Monica’s manicure. It continues as Monica asks the technician what can be done about her nails, to which the technician answers that another professional can do them. That is when Monica demands to know where the Asian employee is from, and the profanity and xenophobic comments started. In the video, Monica was heard saying, “Why do you come to this country, work here, and don’t do what’s right for our citizens? You make money, you live in my country, and you gonna tell me you can’t do my nails, b***h? The f**k, what do think you are b***h? The f**k is wrong with you?” When the employee tried to defend herself, Monica screams at her to “go back to your f**king country,” even though the employee is an American born citizen. Later, when the staff tells her to leave, her response is, “Yeah, b***h? Make me leave. Meet me outside. Cash me outside. How about that? I am crazy as f**k. I will f**k you up.”At the end of the video, the singer even threatens the staff that they’ll regret not doing her nails after her music blows up.
Once the video was released on Twitter, the reaction from the public was swift. Since then, the video has accumulated more than 60,000 views, over 600 retweets, and people have started referring to Corina Monica as “Nail Salon Karen.” Later, on her now-deleted Instagram account, Monica excused her actions, stating, “I was inhumane and a terrible person [...] I want to apologize to the salon. I want to apologize to the woman— I believe her name is Kelly— and I want to apologize to the owner and I want to apologize to the Asian community.”
Even without the video clip or public pressure, Corina Monica should have immediately issued an apology. No one has the right to threaten or degrade another person because of their race and certainly not public figures nor anyone who wants to become one. Due to their large following and influence, public figures need to use their platform responsibly and considerately about what they say and do. It is the public’s decision who they want to support, so they must ensure that they strive to be a role model or simply a person with principles. Everyone needs to hold themselves and others accountable for their actions.