When Avril Lavigne released her music video for her new single “Hello Kitty” yesterday, I’m sure she wasn’t planning on having to deal with almost instantaneous backlash and being called a racist, but alas, life never goes as planned.
The video stars Avril as a Kawaii -style rockstar in a cupcake skirt and features all Japanese backup dancers. It follows Lavigne as she frolics through the streets and colorful candy stores of Japan and includes images such as Avril taking pictures of her Harajuku-like backup dancers, and eating sushi and drinking saki.
The video is no longer available on Vevo, but that has nothing to do with the controversy, as stated by Lavigne’s rep:
“It was not pulled from YouTube but it was GEO BLOCKED as VEVO is set to premiere it exclusively tomorrow! Fans were ripping the video and posting to YouTube and then getting removed due to the geo-blocking.”
Lavigne has responded to the controversy over Twitter saying:
“RACIST??? LOLOLOL!!! I love Japanese culture and I spend half of my time in Japan. I flew to Tokyo to shoot this video……specifically for my Japanese fans, WITH my Japanese label, Japanese choreographers AND a Japanese director IN Japan.”
What are your thoughts? Is this a case of thoughtless appropriation of Japanese culture?
Photo Credit: AvrilLavigneVevo/Youtube