The video for "Hello Kitty," the 5th single from the Avril Lavigne album you didn't realize was out, was released on YouTube Monday. It was quickly taken down after a backlash accusing Lavigne of exploiting Asian stereotypes.

What's so bad about the video (other than the obnoxious kitty kitty/pretty pretty hook and the unnecessary dubstep)? It's the clumsiest attempt to appropriate Japanese culture and fashion since Gwen Stefani's ill-advised Harajuku phase back in 2004. Maybe clumsier.

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When Stefani put on a minstrel show back in the mid-2000s, she was promoting the Harajuku Girls, a group of women with real personalities and real J-pop credentials. Mrs. Chad Kroeger's backup dancers, on the other hand, just seem to be there as super-kawaii props.

Billboard called the video "an embarrassment in any language."

Lavigne has since responded to the backlash by defending her Japanophile credentials:

"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."

It's cool, you guys. She has Japanese friends.

[H/T Billboard]