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.
On a scale from wearing bindis at Coachella to L.A.M.B. Harajuku girls how racist is the new Avril Lavigne video
— snoop lazersnake (@chryslerrr) April 23, 2014
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.
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."
All you have to do in life to not be hated is 1. Don't be racist. 2. Don't marry anyone in Nickelback. Goddammit Avril Lavigne.
— Jamie Kilstein (@jamiekilstein) April 23, 2014
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.