Lily Allen defends music video after use of black twerking dancers deemed racist

The singer said she did not choose backing dancers because of their race

Pop star Lily Allen has rushed to defend her new music video after critics described her use of twerking black backing dancers as racist.

The “Not Fair” singer has dismissed the allegations, insisting that “ Hard Out Here” was intended as a “lighthearted satirical video that deals with objectification of women within modern pop culture”.

After a four year absence from the music scene, Allen released a statement via Twitter yesterday entitled ‘Privilege, Superiority and Misconceptions’ defending her new video .

“If anyone thinks for a second that I requested specific ethnicities for the video, they’re wrong,” she wrote, explaining that “the best dancers” were selected.

“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,” she said.

The video for “ Hard Out Here” opens with Allen lying in an operating theatre undergoing liposuction, before dancing fully-clothed as provocatively-dressed women twerk like Miley Cyrus around her.

“Me being covered up has nothing to do with me wanting to dissociate myself from the girls, “ she said. “It has more to do with my own insecurities and I just wanted to feel as comfortable as possible on the shoot day.”

While numerous bloggers and tweeters have condemned what blogger 'Black in Asia' sees as the “denigration of black female bodies”, the dancers themselves have supported Allen.

“Critics will be critics”, twerker Monique Lawrence tweeted. “ Lily Allen is the coolest, down to earth and we all had a blast shooting!”

Christopher Sweeney, the video’s director, told NME there was a “sisterly vibe” on set. “It wasn’t like the girls in the video were people we were taking the piss out of, or anything - they were in on it it,” he said.

Allen said she would not apologise to critics because “that would imply that I’m guilty of something”.

“I would not only be suprised but deeply saddened if I thought anyone came away from that video feeling taken advantage of, or compromised in any way,” she said.

The "Hard Out Here" video sees the 31-year-old artist attack the music industry's presentation of women, with lyrics such as: "Don't need to shake my a***e at you 'cos I've got a brain" and "you should probably lose some weight 'cos we can't see your bones".

Allen parodies the Robin Thicke video for "Blurred Lines", mocking Thicke's use of balloons spelling out "Robin Thicke has a big d**k" with her own silver balloons spelling out: "Lily Allen has a baggy p***y".

Arts and Entertainment
Wonder.land Musical by Damon Albarn

Theatre

Arts and Entertainment

Film review

Arts and Entertainment
Innocent victim: Oli, a 13-year-old from Cornwall, featured in ‘Kids in Crisis?’
TV review
News
Northern exposure: social housing in Edinburgh, where Hassiba now works in a takeaway
books An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop
Arts and Entertainment
Terminator Genisys: Arnie remains doggedly true to his word as the man who said 'I'll be back', returning once more to protect Sarah Connor in a new instalment

 

film review
Arts and Entertainment

festivals
Arts and Entertainment

Final Top Gear review

TV
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Pete Doherty and Carl Barat perform at Glastonbury 2015

music
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Richie performs live on the Pyramid stage during the third day of Glastonbury Festival

music
Arts and Entertainment
Buying a stairway to Hubbard: the Scientology centre in Los Angeles
film review Chilling inside views on a secretive church
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Williamson, left, and Andrew Fearn of Sleaford Mods
musicYou are nobody in public life until you have been soundly insulted by Sleaford Mods
Arts and Entertainment
Natalie Dew (Jess) in Bend It Like Beckham The Musical
theatreReview: Bend It Like Beckham hits back of the net on opening night
Arts and Entertainment
The young sea-faring Charles Darwin – seen here in an 1809 portrait – is to be portrayed as an Indiana Jones-style adventurer
film
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

    Is this the future of flying?

    Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
    Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

    Isis are barbarians

    but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
    The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

    Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

    Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
    Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

    'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

    Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
    Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

    Call of the wild

    How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
    Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

    'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

    If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
    The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

    The science of swearing

    What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
    Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

    Africa on the menu

    Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
    Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

    Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

    The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
    10 best statement lightbulbs

    10 best statement lightbulbs

    Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
    Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

    Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

    Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
    Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

    Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

    It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
    Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

    Dustin Brown

    Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
    Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

    Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

    Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test