Avril Lavigne – Hello Kitty
Canadian pop star Avril Lavigne’s new video for “Hello Kitty” was declared racist and culturally insensitive after last week's release.
The most notorious of the complaints is the use of Japanese women as props and decoration a la Gwen Stefani and her Harajuku Girls from 2006.
PolicyMic and AUX TV have hilarious breakdowns of why the video is racist, and just generally in poor taste.
PolicyMic highlights the difference between appreciation and appropriation, and urges listeners to be mindful of their democratic ability to “vote with our eyeballs, clicks and downloads.”
Other media outlets claim that the video isn’t racist; it’s just a terrible show of ‘entertainment.’
Vice called it a “tone-deaf, idiotic music video” and the “pop culture equivalent to wearing board shorts to a funeral.”
Kotaku (a Japan-centric gamer blog) too says the video isn’t racist—it’s mostly shallow and irritating.
Regardless of the claims, the number of video clicks and views has only increased since the accusations. Vancouver's Georgia Straight online (straight.com), declared “Hello Kitty” to be the “best-selling iTunes music video in Brazil’ while it topped out at second place in Canada, and fourth in the US. Lavigne and her people may point to this as proof of her dedicated fanbase (is she big in Brazil, I wonder?) but let’s not hold our breath for album sales—video clicks and music purchases are mutually exclusive.
Lavigne has since responded to critics saying she spends half her time in Japan and had the help of a Japanese director for the video.
Also, for anyone who missed it; the song was co-written by her husband Chad Kroeger. Cuuuute!
Welp. So it goes.
In other matters, Calgary’s X-Fest lineup was announced!
Only in it’s fourth consecutive year, X-Fest is set to produce another impressive list of bands to help ease the pain as we slip out of summer.
Taking the stage this August 30 and 31 will be Tegan and Sara, Serena Ryder, and Stars.
For more info, check the official X-Fest website here.