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

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The Independent Culture

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".