We’re in the 21st century and unfortunately, we are still facing issues of race and ethnicity in the media.
Sky Ferreira, a 21-year-old American pop singer, recently released a music video for her song ‘I Blame Myself’. The video depicts Ferreira, as a leader of a black, male gang in Compton, California. The singer was attacked via social media for stereotyping her performers and was accused of racism.
Although I personally believe Sky Ferreira had no intentions of racism or stereotyping, I believe it’s pretty risky of her to release this, despite whether or not she believes race is an issue in the video.
After watching the music video, it is pretty clear why some people are offended.
- The music video is set in Compton, California, an area known for being “ghetto” and occupied by African Americans.
- The performers are all black and are dressed as stereotypical gangsters.
- Sky Ferreira is the only white performer in the music video, and she appears to be the leader of the gang.
- Towards the end of music video, police are involved. This creates an assumption that people from Compton, black or white, are associated with crime.
We live in a culture now where you must tie toe around everything you do or say, online or offline, to avoid being offensive or causing controversy, especially when you’re in the lime light. This isn’t just the case with race and ethnicity, similar issues are seen in feminism, equality and so on.
Since then, Ferreira has come out publicly, denying the accusations of racism –
I know that you have to be socially aware & mindful of others but when I look at this video I don’t see race as a issue. Stop trying to search for something that isn’t there. Comments like “rich little white girl exploiting the black people & the ghetto” … I never exploited anyone & I don’t use people in any shape or form. My brother is half black. My cousins are black. My family is Latina & Native American. Some of my family is in the video. I wasn’t raised in a “white” house hold & I’m not little & I have financially supported myself since I was 15 years old. I’m a woman, not a fucking little girl. Because I have pale skin & green eyes doesn’t mean I was raised in Beverly Hills and have Swedish film investor parents or whatever some have created in their minds. Would you feel more at ease if I danced with a bunch [of] blond white boys at a mall? Should I consciously only cast white dancers for now on? If I’m racist does that mean you’re pro-segregation?! I’m from LA & shot the video there. I referenced 90s hip-hop videos and Michael Jackson because both of those things inspire me & played a big part of my childhood. – (Beaumont Thomas, 2014, The Guardian).
How do you feel about Sky Ferreira’s latest music video?
Barnes, T., 2014, ‘How to Promote Racist Stereotypes of Black People, Brought to You by Sky Ferreira’, viewed 05/05/2014, http://www.policymic.com/articles/87949/how-to-promote-racist-stereotypes-of-black-people-brought-to-you-by-sky-ferreira
Beaumont-Thomas, B., 2014, ‘Sky Ferreira attacked for ‘racist’ I Blame Myself video’, viewed 05/05/2014, http://www.theguardian.com/music/2014/apr/17/sky-ferreira-racist-i-blame-myself
Friedlander, E., 2014, ‘Social Anxiety: Sky Ferreira, Avril Lavigne and the Prince of Oblivious Appropriation’, viewed 05/05/2014, http://www.thefader.com/2014/04/28/social-anxiety-sky-ferreira-avril-lavigne-and-the-price-of-oblivious-appropriation/
Gordon, J., 2014, ‘Sky Ferreira Defends Herself Against Accusations of Racism in “I Blame Myself” Video’, viewed 05/05/2014, http://pitchfork.com/news/54818-sky-ferreira-defends-herself-against-accusations-of-racism-in-i-blame-myself-video/
Leigh, M., 2014, ‘Sky Ferreira, racism, and being politically correct’, viewed 05/05/2014, http://pop-verse.com/2014/04/18/sky-ferreira-racism-and-being-politically-correct/
Moskovitch, G., 2014, ‘Sky Ferreira’s New Video Sees Singer Accused Of Racism’, viewed 05/05/2014, http://musicfeeds.com.au/news/sky-ferreiras-new-video-sees-singer-accused-of-racism/
Tsjeng, Z., 2014, ‘Is Sky Ferreira’s new music video racist?’, viewed 05/05/2014, http://www.dazeddigital.com/music/article/19614/1/is-sky-ferreiras-new-music-video-i-blame-myself-racist
Sky Ferreira – I Blame Myself (Official Video), YouTube Video, Vevo, viewed 05/05/2014, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWo7SC-tG4U