While Hello Kitty has been made linked to numerous products from school supplies, furniture and even automobile designs, singer Avril Lavigne’s song, “Hello Kitty” is probably the first foray of the lovable character in music. But unlike most cases, when Hello Kitty is enough reason to support a product, it seemed that not even the popularity of the Japanese feline is good enough to sell the song with YouTube temporarily pulling out the video and charges of racism hounding the singer.
The video, ironically totally devoid of any Hello Kitty figures, has the Canadian pop rock singer dancing with four Asian girls in the background. Decked in a sexy back top, her outfit is a stark contrast to the ridiculously candy-colored set-up of the video. The video also shows Lavigne wearing a crazy tutu with cupcakes on it while parading around areas supposedly in Japan such as a candy store, sushi restaurant and a busy street with the four Asian women following her every move. It looks like she is trying to appeal to her Japanese fans, which is still one of her biggest market outside of North America.
Billboard described the song as “an embarrassment in any language” and called the video “even more abhorrent than the song.” It also called attention to the extreme “Japanese fetishization” seen in the video as racist, an accusation that has also been leveled at other pop stars like Lady Gaga and Katy Perry. In spite of the criticisms, some die-hard fans still loved the song co-written and co-produced by Lavigne’s husband, Chad Kroeger from Nickelback. Presently, the video can be viewed on YouTube again, but it has garnered more dislikes than likes from its watchers.
[via The Province]