Published Nov 13, 2013Earlier this year, Miley Cyrus faced criticisms that she used black people as "accessories," and now Lily Allen is facing similar claims. The British pop singer has now issued a statement responding to accusations of racism.
The controversy surrounds Allen's video for "Hard Out Here," which parodies music industry sexism. In the clip, a number of the singer's backup performers are black, and they perform twerking dance moves. Much of the criticism stems from blogger Blackinasia [via Jezebel], who wrote that the clip "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."
In a statement called "Privilege, Superiority and Misconceptions" posted to Twitter, Allen said that the video has nothing to with race and that she chose the women based on their dancing abilities and not the colour of their skin. She noted that, although her role in the video shows her wearing more clothes and dancing less provocatively than her troupe, this is because of her insecurity and unaccomplished dance moves, rather than an attempt to distance herself from the women.
Read the statement below in full. Scroll past that to watch the clip for "Hard Out Here."
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 apologize 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 pedophiles, 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.
6. Ask the ladies yourselves @shalaeuroasia @monique_Lawz @ceodancers @TempleArtist @SelizaShowtime @melycrisp