Well, that was quick.
Only a day after debuting their video for “Looking Hot,” No Doubt has removed the clip from YouTube after fans called it out for insensitively appropriating Native American imagery. We were too distracted by the Sandy telethon to catch it while it was up, but according to screenshots the video cast Gwen Stefani as a Native American woman, who is captured by cowboys (played by drummer Adrian Young and guitarist Tom Dumont) before being rescued by bassist Tony Kanal, who plays an Indian chief.
So yes, basically the video was an entire hipster appropriation tumblr condensed into three minutes—and in Native American Heritage Month, no less!—and people were understandably put off. Even the commenters on Youtube got it, which is saying something:
It has nothing to do with intent. Whether they intended it to hurt or not, it’s irrelevant because it’s still trivializing and appropriating the culture. It hurts. That’s it. This is hurtful to Native American communities. Very simple.
To their credit, the band almost immediately yanked and apologized for the video. A real apology, too, not one of those “We’re sorry if you were offended…” cop-outs:
As a multi-racial band our foundation is built upon both diversity and consideration for other cultures. Our intention with our new video was never to offend, hurt or trivialize Native American people, their culture or their history. Although we consulted with Native American friends and Native American studies experts at the University of California, we realize now that we have offended people. This is of great concern to us and we are removing the video immediately. The music that inspired us when we started the band, and the community of friends, family, and fans that surrounds us was built upon respect, unity and inclusiveness. We sincerely apologize to the Native American community and anyone else offended by this video. Being hurtful to anyone is simply not who we are.
Score one for No Doubt fans for speaking out, and the band for listening. Since “Looking Hot” is a single we imagine it’ll get a new video in no time. Until then, you’ll have to content yourselves with low-rent lyrics vids!