"RACIST??? LOLOLOL!!!" — Avril Lavigne denies accusations that her new music video exploits Japanese culture.
Featuring four expressionless Japanese backup dancers, a watered-down Kyary Pamyu Pamyu aesthetic and liberal (and nonsensical) use of the word “kawaii,” the song and video have been widely criticized for being an embarrassing example of racial and cultural exploitation.
It only took a few hours for Lavigne to respond on Facebook and Twitter, with a message that began, “RACIST??? LOLOLOL!!!”
The video was pulled from YouTube hours after it posted amid a high volume of negative comments, but it now appears to be viewable on Vevo’s YouTube channel. It’s pretty clear from her reactions on social media that Lavigne doesn’t really understand why people are accusing the video of being racist—or, perhaps, that she is pretending not to understand. “I love Japanese culture,” is the same defense offered by every tweenage Japanophile in the Western world, and it doesn’t actually preclude racial insensitivity or cultural appropriation.