Well, this is embarrassing. Of all the things No Doubt have been skewered for in the public eye over the years, we never thought racial stereotyping would be one of them. Over the weekend, the Huffington Post and E! Online reported that Orange County's biggest band caught some serious flack over their cowboys-and-Indians-themed video for the single "Looking Hot." They've subsequently yanked the video and issued an apology. The nearly four-minute video depicts front woman Gwen Stefani as a Native American warrior princess galloping the plains, sending smoke signals, chucking spears and being tied up by band mates/cowboys Tom Dumont and Adrian Young. Bassist Tony Kanal, who also plays an Indian (a different kind than he actually is) helps rescue Stefani, tomahawk in hand. What could make this cringe-worthy scenario even worse? November is Native American Heritage Month! Although the video had been released on Friday, by Sunday, it had officially taken down, with an apology from the band via their website.
"As a multi-racial band, our foundation is built upon both diversity and consideration for other cultures," No Doubt said in a statement. "Our intention with our new video was never to offend, hurt or trivialize Native American people, their culture or their history. Although we consulted with Native American friends and Native American studies experts at the University of California, we realize now that we have offended people." (Link to the video after the jump!)
The apology continues:
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"This is of great concern to us and we are removing the video immediately. The music that inspired us when we started the band, and the community of friends, family, and fans that surrounds us was built upon respect, unity and inclusiveness.
"We sincerely apologize to the Native American community and anyone else offended by this video. Being hurtful to anyone is simply not who we are."
Perhaps you're wondering how No Doubt got into this mess. How did they let director Melina Matsoukas tell them this was the best possible depiction of a song about, um, staring in the mirror? (Seriously, what is this song about?) "Looking Hot" is the second single off the band's new album, Push and Shove (released in September, their first album in about a decade). Of all the things that could represent this song, a cliché spaghetti western is probably the the last thing on our minds. Whatever the reasoning may have been, it's obvious things aren't looking too hot for the band's PR team right about now. While this video does seem pretty offensive, regardless of intentions, we're wondering what No Doubt fans have to say about the situation. Is everyone just making way too big a deal of this? Should the band's act of contrition be more than a post on their website? Seriously, anybody know what this song is about?