But I Have a Japanese Friend: Avril Lavigne Responds to Accusations of Racism Against Her Latest Music Video

Avril Lavigne
hello kitty
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Earlier this week, Avril Lavigne released the music video for "Hello Kitty." Many called the hyper-colorful, Japan-set video ridiculous. That was bad. Others called it out-and-out racist. That was worse.

So Lavigne is defending herself against the charges of racism with the old "but I have a black friend" excuse.

Lavigne's claiming that the video cannot be racist since it was filmed in Japan, using real Japanese people. Except that no one was accusing her of yellowface, they were accusing her of an offensive cultural appropriation, borrowing someone else's culture as a quirky prop, which is exactly what she did.

The video is filmed in Japan, no doubt, because of Japan's enduring obsession with the song's namesake, Hello Kitty. Throughout, Lavigne is flanked by a group of Japanese women are less dancers and more expressionless props. During the video, Lavigne ransacks a brightly colored candy shop and plays an anime schoolgirl stereotype in a sushi restaurant. It's shockingly tone deaf.

Lavigne's defense rests on the fact that the video is made as a love letter to her Japanese fans. But when the video's treatment is essentially "look how silly these people are," you'd assume her Japanese fans would rather return to sender.

 

Discuss

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  • Steven G Saunders
    Steven G Saunders

    Have these people never seen J-POP and K-POP music videos? this is not really that wacky when compared.

  • jesshelt1121
    jesshelt1121

    So does this mean that Katy Perry is also being racist in her 'dark horse' video? Since she used Egyptian culture to help her make her video? All people do is bitch. Get over it? BTW, I'm also a KP fan

  • Jacoma Edwards
    Jacoma Edwards

    This is the DUMBEST news I've heard all day... so far.... but rly??? How is it racist?? I mean I'm not Japanese but i still dnt thnk it's racist. There is nothimg evn remotely racist abt ths. Ppl will find ne reason to complain. Or have something to protest abt.

  • Brittany De'Nee Moore
    Brittany De'Nee Moore

    Damn, people are SO serious about everything and sure like to call people racist lately...can anyone do anything for fun without getting slapped in the face with this stuff? You don't have to like the song I'm almost positive even she knows it's not her best. It was clearly done for fun...