Avril Lavigne’s defends ‘Hello Kitty’ music video: 'I love Japanese culture'

Avril Lavigne teased her fans on April 20 with a Twitter announcement that her new video for "Hello Kitty" would go live in 24 hours.

The next day, she linked to a YouTube video that featured the pop-punk songstress dressed in a plush cupcake skirt with a troop of robotic Japanese backup dancers. Comparisons to Gwen Stefani’s Harajuku girls quickly flourished and several opinion pieces emerged about whether Avril is racist.

Within a few days the video was pulled from YouTube. It has since gone back up on Avril's YouTube page.

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“RACIST??? LOLOLOL!! I love Japanese culture and I spend half of my time in Japan. I flew to Tokyo to shoot this video,” the 29-year-old singer tweeted regarding the accusations that she appropriated Japanese culture in an unsavoury way.

Fuse reports that Epic Records, the label responsible for the Japanese homage, said, “the video was never uploaded to an official YouTube channel,” meaning the music video was taken down because it was unofficial and not because of the vitriolic reaction.

Despite the contention, the video has drummed up a lot of buzz. “Hello Kitty” was composed by Avril, her husband (Nickleback crooner Chad Kroeger), Boys Like Girls’ Martin Johnson and Evanescence’s David Hodges.

The Canadian couple were married in 2013 and rank among the country's rock royalty.

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