The man in blackface who posted a TikTok video mocking “The Little Mermaid” star Halle Bailey has been identified as a former law student and the sibling of an Indonesian star with over 3.5 million followers on Instagram.
Jossi Marchelli, the brother of Indonesian actor Acha Septriasa, stirred controversy on TikTok after popular TikToker Aunt Karen shared his video earlier this week.
In her first video about Marchelli, Aunt Karen directed her more than 1.6 million followers to his now-deleted TikTok account, where he said he would not be taking down the controversial video.
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“Just woke up and my video is still up,” Marchelli reportedly commented on his now-deleted post. “I will continue to follow the rules on TikTok Community Guidlines. Create content from existing rules. I will not delete the video myself.”
The video in question shows Marchelli parodying Black girls who watch the trailer of “The Little Mermaid” and show their excitement after seeing that the film’s protagonist Ariel is being played by a Black woman.
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In Marchelli’s now-deleted video, he can be seen sitting in front of a TV. When the film’s trailer shows Bailey onscreen, the man in blackface turns around to talk to the camera.
“Mommy, she looks just like me,” he says in a mocking tone.
After some digging, Aunt Karen discovered that Marchelli — who is now banned from TikTok — is the brother of Septriasa. She also found out that he used to study at Chicago’s Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law.
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Several users quickly tagged the university online, prompting Hari Osofsky, the Pritzker School of Law’s dean, to issue a statement to denounce Marcehlli’s video and to inform the public that he is not a current student there.
“We have learned of a racist video that is circulating on social media,” Osofsky wrote. “Based on our investigation, we have confirmed that the person who made this video is not a current student, but someone with a similar name appears to be a former student at the Law School.”
“The views expressed in the video in question are abhorrent and disgusting,” she continued. “The University’s and Law School’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion is unwavering. We strongly denounce the video.”
In her most recent TikTok video about Marchelli, which has garnered over 2.2 million views and 383,000 likes so far, Aunt Karen included some of the replies Septriasa wrote on Instagram, including one where the Indonesian actor addressed the TikToker directly, writing, “My brother already take [sic] down his postings on TikTok. I hope this act could stop, from you as well.”
Aunt Karen also claimed in another video that Marchelli’s family does not “even want anything to do with him.”
Featured Image via @thotspriv