Since Avril Lavigne debuted the video for new single ‘Hello Kitty‘ last week, it’s come under fire for a bunch of reasons: for its “Japan fetishization” (Billboard), for shamelessly ripping off earlier examples of Japan fetishization in pop (The Daily Beast), for being terrible (The Guardian).
When the clip was briefly taken off YouTube, some people speculated that Lavigne’s P.R. might have been going into damage control. As it turns out, not so much. Last night Avril tweeted in defence of her video, citing that classic, airtight explanation favoured by casual racists everywhere: it can’t be racist because I LOVE JAPAN!!!!
RACIST??? LOLOLOL!!! I love Japanese culture and I spend half of my time in Japan. I flew to Tokyo to shoot this video…
— Avril Lavigne (@AvrilLavigne) April 24, 2014
The reasons why it’s not OK to appropriate the kinds of cultural symbols that ‘Hello Kitty’ is rife with are pretty well-documented, but a great rule of thumb is that it’s never a good idea to respond to accusations of racism with “RACIST??? LOLOLOL!!!”
Check out the video below – or just enjoy these reaction .gifs.