Lily Allen’s “Hard Out Here” video is designed as a satire of objectifying music video cliches, but almost as soon as the clip premiered yesterday Twitter blew up with critiques accusing Allen of a different sort of objectification. Specifically, some people viewed Allen’s use of black backup dancers as racial exploitation. The controversy echoes the accusations levied at Miley Cyrus earlier this year by critics including New York Magazine‘s Jody Rosen, who compared Cyrus’s VMA performance to a “minstrel show.”
Today Allen responded to those allegations with a lengthy TwitLonger post. Here’s the whole thing:
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
Whether you agree with Allen or not, I guess this proves that it really is hard out here for a bitch.