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Lily Allen sucked into race row over new music video

CONTROVERSIAL: The portrayal of female dancers on Allen's new video has attracted strong criticism

POP SINGER Lily Allen has defended her controversial new Hard Out There music video after critics and fans branded it sexist and racist.

The single, which was released on Sunday (November 10), sees scantily clad black and Asian women dancing, while the two white women in the video are wearing gold jackets over their skimpy outfits to protect their modesty.

Allen, 28, is also fully clothed, but she claims this was due to her own “insecurities”.

She said: "I actually rehearsed for two weeks trying to perfect my twerk, but failed miserably," she said. "[And] if I was a little braver, I would have been wearing a bikini too, but I do not and I have chronic cellulite, which nobody wants to see."

The singer said the video was not about ethnicity and the dancers were chosen because they were “the best dancers” from the auditions.

"[This video] has nothing to do with race, at all," Allen said yesterday in a post titled Privilege, Superiority and Misconceptions.

"[It] is meant to be a lighthearted satirical video that deals with objectification of women within modern pop culture… The message is clear."

All of Allen's dancers – Seliza Sebastian, Melissa Freire, Shala EuroAsia, Monique Lawrence, and Temple – seem delighted with Hard Out Here, posting links to it and retweeting Allen's remarks.

"Critics will be critics," Lawrence added.

In an interview with NME, the video's director hailed the "sisterly vibe" during the shoot.

"It wasn't like the girls [Lily's] surrounded by in the video were people we were taking the piss out of, or anything – they were in on it," said director Christopher Sweeney.

"It was their idea to spray the champagne over each other, like in a Nelly video. They totally got that what we were saying with the video."

But Allen’s critics are not convinced.

Blogger Black in Asia said: “’Satire' is not an excuse or usable cover for racism.”

"'Ironic' racism is STILL (ding ding) RACIST", he said and offered his own "translation" of Allen's statement: "'I didn't mean to be racist so it's not racist!!!'... 'WHITE PRIVILEGE IN FEMINIST SPACES DOES NOT EXIST!'... 'I HAVE BLACK FRIENDS AND THEY ENJOYED IT!! ... 'I'm guilty of NOTHING!"

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