Like most everything else on the Internet, Lily Allen's "Hard Out Here" video has sparked CONTROVERSY!!! And of a relatively long-lasting sort, it seems, as more than twenty-four hours since the video for her comeback single debuted, people are still talking about it. Allen's attempt at poking fun at artists such as Robin Thicke and Miley Cyrus was naturally intended to spark discussion, but it's a safe bet that the British pop star had not indended to start a conversation about race.
But with with such an outcry questioning her decision to cast women of color as backup dancers, Allen has gone to Twitter to defend herself. She said:
"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.
6. Ask the ladies yourselves @shalaeuroasia @monique_Lawz @ceodancers @TempleArtist @SelizaShowtime @melycrisp"
Allen went on to say that her video is about "ownership" in response to another Twitter critic.
Ironically, similar criticisms of exploiting racial stereotypes were levelled at Miley Cyrus, one of the figures Allen's video spoofs, after she put out her twerk-fest video, "We Can't Stop," this past summer.