Did you catch the video for No Doubt’s new single “Looking Hot,” which premiered online on Friday? If you didn’t, it’s gotten harder to find. Shortly after the premiere, the band pulled the clip because of negative reactions to their use of Native American imagery.
In the video, Gwen Stefani dresses up in a fashion-Pocahontas head-dress and is saved from a pair of cowboys (band members Tom Dumont and Adrian Young) by bassist Tony Kanal (who also dresses up in stereotypical teepee-living garb). Though it seemed no more culturally insensitive than Stefani’s melange of Asian imagery during her solo period or No Doubt’s well-documented appropriation of Jamaican ska and reggae culture, it was deemed beyond the pale by YouTube commenters who bombarded the clip with negative comments.
On Saturday, the band issued a long apology on their website. “As a multi-racial band our foundation is built upon both diversity and consideration for other cultures,” they wrote. “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 clip is still floating around the Internet (like here, for example), but has otherwise been scrubbed from this official series of tubes. What do you think? Did No Doubt do the right thing?