Once upon a time (i.e., about a month ago), accusations of racism of were thrown at New Zealand’s Lorde for her chart-owning single “Royals,” a song that made some barbed observations about the luxury cars and expensive liquors that litter our pop-culture landscape.
British popstress Lily Allen’s now getting some of the same flack for her new “Hard Out Here” video, which covers many of the same themes. The British Commonwealth singers can’t catch a break!
As with the Lorde kerfuffle, the claims against Allen seem a little dubious, but we’ll summarize both sides of the argument for you below.
From the Black in Asia Tumblr, reblogged by Jezebel:
The video is meant to be a critique and satire of popular culture and manages some deserved jabs at Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” videos among others, but in the end it just reduces itself down to elevating Lily Allen’s white female body and objectifying and utterly denigrating those of the black female dancers she deliberately surrounds herself with from start to finish.
And here’s how Lily Allen herself responded via Twitlonger:
Privilege,Superiority and Misconceptions
1. If anyone thinks for a second that I requested specific ethnicities for the video, they’re wrong.
2. If anyone thinks that after asking the girls to audition, I was going to send any of them away because of the colour of their skin, they’re wrong.
3. The message is clear. Whilst I don’t want to offend anyone. I do strive to provoke thought and conversation. The video is meant to be a lighthearted satirical video that deals with objectification of women within modern pop culture. It has nothing to do with race, at all.
4. If I could dance like the ladies can, it would have been my arse on your screens; I actually rehearsed for two weeks trying to perfect my twerk, but failed miserably. If I was a little braver, I would have been wearing a bikini too, but I do not and I have chronic cellulite, which nobody wants to see. What I’m trying to say is that me being covered up has nothing to do with me wanting to disassociate myself from the girls, it has more to do with my own insecurities and I just wanted to feel as comfortable as possible on the shoot day.
5. I’m not going to apologise because I think that would imply that I’m guilty of something, but I promise you this, in no way do I feel superior to anyone, except paedophiles, rapists murderers etc., and I would not only be surprised but deeply saddened if I thought anyone came away from that video feeling taken advantage of,or compromised in any way.
So, what do you guys think? Here’s the video again, to refresh your memory: