General Question

pleiades's avatar

Do you think the new Avril Lavigne video is racist?

Asked by pleiades (6538 points ) April 24th, 2014

Why do you think it is or is not racist? Why do you think some people are having a hard time finding it not racist, including Asians?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

9 Answers

johnpowell's avatar

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LiaYDPRedWQ is the video in question. I’m not really seeing any racism. Horrible fucking song for sure, but yeah, no racism that I can find.

ragingloli's avatar

Unfortunately, this video is not available in your country because it could contain music, for which we could not agree on conditions of use with GEMA.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Not racist. It’s a send up on Japanese pop. Yeah the clip is crammed with stereotypical Japanese cultural references, but it would be difficult to determine whether the clip is meant to be derisive, a tribute, or just great parody. I’m not Japanese, but I fail to see anything offensive about it. Things being what they are, the piece will probably be a runaway hit in Japan.

pleiades's avatar

Thanks @johnpowell I was going to edit it in but lunch time made it’s way into my stomach :D

SavoirFaire's avatar

While I am open to new information on the matter, I do not think the case for racism has been successfully made yet.

The video is being accused of racism on the grounds that it fetishizes and misappropriates Japanese culture and that it is engaged in Orientalism (a term coined by the postcolonialist thinker Edward Said). The problem here is that there is an important difference—as Said himself noted—between appropriating a culture and genuinely partaking in it.

While Lavigne has been mocked for pointing out that she recorded the video in Japan for her Japanese fans, under a Japanese record label, with Japanese choreographers and a Japanese director, these are not irrelevant facts. Her presentation of them is suboptimal—an almost inevitable result of using Twitter to respond to serious accusations—but they do suggest that she was not merely lifting elements of a culture to use as exotic decoration. And given how closely her video adheres to the norms of the J-pop genre, I think there is good evidence that this is a case of partaking.

tinyfaery's avatar

Oy. So bad. Not racist.

rockfan's avatar

I admit this is a godawful song. But I like it anyway…

DominicX's avatar

No, I don’t. Though under the apparent new definition of racist, “making reference to a stereotype”, it is.

OpryLeigh's avatar

Not racist in my opinion.

Does anyone remember when Gwen Stefani had a team of (I think) Japanese side kicks? They were in a few videos with her and she seemed to be photographed with them a lot. I found that worse than Avril’s video.

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