Rock band No Doubt has pulled the video for its new single “Looking Hot” in response to complaints that the Native American-themed farrago was racist and offensive.
The group posted the video — which shows the band dressed as Cowboys and Indians — on Friday. But just hours later, they had removed it from YouTube and Vevo and issued an apology on their official website. “As a multi-racial band our foundation is built upon both diversity and consideration for other cultures,” they said. “Our intention with our new video was never to offend, hurt or trivialize Native American people, their culture or their history.”
That awareness doesn’t exactly shine through in the video, an indiscriminate mashup of Native American clichés (Headdresses! Teepees! Husky dogs!). To top it off, there’s lead singer Gwen Stefani dressed like Pocahontas, asking “Do you think I’m looking hot?” while writhing shackled to a wall. Bonus points: the video, which you can watch here, was released during Native American Heritage month.
Various critics have weighed in on the video, with F.A.I.R. (For Accurate Indigenous Representation Media) calling Stefani an “insensitive, entitled Hipster,” according to the L.A. Times. Native American author Sherman Alexie wrote on Twitter that No Doubt had turned “500 years of colonialism into a silly dance song and fashion show.”
“A lot of people think they can put an inaccurate plastic bonnet on and some grease paint and that’s OK, but it’s not,” Barrie Cox-Dacre, executive director of the International North American Indian Association UK, told the Guardian.
This isn’t the first time that members of No Doubt have come under fire for cultural insensitivity. In 2005, Margaret Cho described Gwen Stefani’s backup dancer crew the Harajuku Girls as a “minstrel show,” adding that she views Japanese schoolgirl uniforms as “kind of like blackface.”