Avril Lavigne’s new music video “Hello Kitty” has some crying racism.
The upbeat and colorful video shows Lavigne, 29, wearing a cupcake tutu and prancing around Tokyo with a quartet of expressionless Asian girls dressed in matching outfits following close behind. Other clips show her playing air guitar and drinking sake. She even sings in Japanese in one part of the pop-rock song from her self-titled fifth studio album.
“[This] video is an embarrassment in any language,” Billboard magazine’s Jason Lipshutz wrote.
But Lavigne says it’s definitely not racist.
“RACIST??? LOLOLOL!!!” Lavigne tweeted Wednesday, clearly laughing out loud.
“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.”
Lavigne’s video drew comparisons to Gwen Stefani and her Harajuku girls. While they appeared in several of Stefani’s videos and tours, the singer introduced them once as her “imaginary friends.”
Look for Rino Nakasone!
Comedian Margaret Cho blasted Stefani in 2005 for creating what she considered a “minstrel show” that reinforced negative stereotypes about Asian women.