Wednesday, November 7, 2012

No Doubt Pulls Racist Video; Releases Apology

When are artists going to learn that donning a war bonnet isn't cool? No Doubt's video for "Looking Hot" is all kinds of problematic with Gwen herself in Native American dress being tied up by cowboys.    Unless you're actively trying to make some kind of statement -- and I've seen no examples of wearing a headdress that weren't cluelessly racist --  just don't, okay?

To their credit, and after being called out on YouTube, the band pulled the video (Jezebel posted a few screencaps ) and issued this statement:
As a multi-racial band our foundation is built upon both diversity and consideration for other cultures. Our intention with our new video was never to offend, hurt or trivialize Native American people, their culture or their history. Although we consulted with Native American friends and Native American studies experts at the University of California, we realize now that we have offended people. This is of great concern to us and we are removing the video immediately. The music that inspired us when we started the band, and the community of friends, family, and fans that surrounds us was built upon respect, unity and inclusiveness. We sincerely apologize to the Native American community and anyone else offended by this video. Being hurtful to anyone is simply not who we are.
The apology is commendable, given that most artists don't, but it seems that by now most artists would have gotten the message that appropriating other cultures isn't cool. Granted, this isn't the first time No Doubt has "borrowed" from other cultures, from Gwen's wearing a bindi in the 90s to her troupe of Harajuku girls in the early 00s in her video for "Hollaback Girl."

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