Racism in entertainment has been at the forefront this week as both Avril Lavigne and Donald Sterling are in the news under less than desirable circumstances.
Earlier in the week, Lavigne made headlines after the release of her controversial new Hello Kitty music video deemed offensive and racist toward Asian culture. Sterling meanwhile, made news after audio leaked of him condemning his girlfriend for bringing African Americans to his arena. The question now becomes, who’s offense was greater?
While Avril responded to the racism claims on Facebook and Twitter with a less than nuanced reply at first (“RACIST??? LOLOLOL!!!”) isn’t exactly the most prepared statement compared to the gravity of the situation) she did try to clarify her decision to make the Hello Kitty video with the rationalization that she in fact was supporting Japanese culture, not making fun of it:
“I love Japanese culture and I spend half of my time in Japan. I flew to Tokyo to shoot this video specifically for my Japanese fans, WITH my Japanese label, Japanese choreographers AND a Japanese director IN Japan.”
And while many feel Avril should apologize, according to TMZ, Japanese officials themselves actually hold the opposite opinion when it comes to Lavinge’s Hello Kitty video:
“Peeps at the Japanese Embassy in Wash. D.C. are pretty chill about it though… telling us they believe Avril ‘had only good intentions when making the video.’
The spokesman added… they ‘would be happy if the discussions surrounding her song and music video results in more people discovering the beautiful and rich culture of Japan.'”
Donald Sterling on the other hand, crossed a line no one who owns a professional sports team – or anyone for that matter – should come anywhere near. For one, a man of his standing, harboring those kinds of feelings toward African Americans while working in a predominantly African American industry leaves one’s head scratching.
As reported by Inquistr, the there was some debate as to whether the Clippers, coached by African American Doc Rivers would even take the floor for their playoff game against the Warriors Sunday. Instead, the Clippers players staged a silent protest against Donald Sterling’s alleged racist comments, turning their warm-up jerseys inside-out to hide the team name before the game. The Clippers ended up losing the game 118-97.
When you add it all up, Lavigne’s insensitive Hello Kitty video pales in comparison to the seriousness of Sterling’s racist comments. And while Avril Lavigne should take a step back to let this negative press pass, it’s clear Donald Sterling needs to remove himself entirely from the spotlight forever.