Charles Ramsey, the Cleveland man who helped rescue three women after a decade of imprisonment, has become an Internet sensation thanks to his heroics and a colorful interview.
Hollywood too, has embraced Ramsey, who works as a dishwasher and lives in the neighborhood where Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michele Knight were rescued from captivity Monday.
Later that day, Ramsey gave an interview with Cleveland’s WEWS. It went viral, and key bits from it have become of the focus of tweets and memes. Ramsey spoke of eating ribs and dancing Salsa with the man accused of holding the women prisoner. He was eating McDonalds when he heard Berry scream for help.
Near the end of the interview, Ramsey said: "I knew something was wrong when a little, pretty white girl ran into a black man's arms. Something is wrong here. Dead giveaway."
The interview received the autotune treatment, and got attention from Hollywood. Patton Oswalt tweeted “Dear Charles Ramsey: I am not a little pretty white girl, but I totally want to run into your black arms,” while Tom Arnold suggested him for Soul Plane 2. McDonalds got in the game as well, tweeting it would "be in touch" with Ramsey.
But the attention has been criticized in some corners as disingenuous.
"Perhaps it's time for the world's meme artists to stop assuming that any black dude getting interviewed on local news about a crime he helped to foil can be reduced to some catch phrase or in-joke," Miles Klee opined at Blackbook. NPR's Gene Nemby wrote: "What feels like celebration can also carry with it the undertone of condescension."
On Tuesday, Ramsey appeared on CNN’s Anderson Cooper: 360, where he said if there is any reward money, he wants it to go to the victims. Asked if he considers himself a hero, he said simply: "I'm a Christian. I'm an American."
Find below what else Hollywood is saying about Ramsey’s heroics.
Dear Charles Ramsey: I am not a little pretty white girl, but I totally want to run into your black arms. #hero— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) May 7, 2013
spinach : Popeye :: McDonalds : Charles Ramsey— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) May 7, 2013
Hours after #CharlesRamsey saves 3 captive girls McDonald's tweets unprovoked threat to his arteries.— John Fugelsang (@JohnFugelsang) May 8, 2013
We salute the courage of Ohio kidnap victims & respect their privacy. Way to go Charles Ramsey- we'll be in touch.— McDonald's Corp. (@McDonaldsCorp) May 7, 2013
Charles Ramsey. We have an Internet sensation in the making...Waiting for them to songify his interview. The 911 call is even better....— Harry Shum Jr (@iharryshum) May 7, 2013
"I'm Charles Ramsey and this is CNN"- Tomorrow's promo.— Rory Albanese (@RoryAlbanese) May 7, 2013
We gotta fix up Charles Ramsey with Sweet Brown. Sound bite gold.— Richard Roeper (@richardroeper) May 7, 2013
Greatest. Interview. Ever. RT Charles Ramsey, rescuer of Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus & Michelle Knight in Cleveland youtu.be/axCn04iXkBg— Glen Mazzara (@glenmazzara) May 7, 2013
the true gem of the Charles Ramsey clip is at 1:05 youtu.be/kBJowiFQj_c?t=… the traumatic sound of a police siren will freeze any cat.— Questlove Jenkins (@questlove) May 7, 2013
Just interviewed Charles Ramsey who helped rescue Amanda Berry in Cleveland. Will be on ac360 at 8/10pm instagram.com/p/ZBxudAEkFx/— Anderson Cooper (@andersoncooper) May 7, 2013
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