On November 2, the second day of Native American Heritage Month, Gwen Stefani of No Doubt released her latest music video for “Lookin Hot” on YouTube. In the video Stefani wears a series of American Indian styled outfits while appearing in a series of situations such as being handcuffed and tied to a wall, dancing in and around teepees and fighting cowboys.
Soon after the video was released, a backlash on Twitter erupted and dislikes jumped from 60 to over 700 in a few hours. Several YouTube viewers made comments in frustration and support of the video.
One comment on YouTube stated: "This video is very insensitive and very discourteous. Stefani, you have disrespected and slighted the entire Native American people with your counterfeit portrayal of our heritage. The way you pranced and frolic around, dressed in so called Native American attire, is a mockery of our way of life and culture. You have also debased ?all Native American women. The word squaw is very insulting and demeaning to me and all Native American women.”
Other YouTube viewers commented in support of Stefani.
One said: “This video is only for musical purposes only not in any way criticizing your culture. I know you guys have been through a lot I have lived in Montana most of my life I learned a lot about Native Americans and their side but this video wasn't trying to hate or be offensive.”
Twitter was especially active after the video was posted and continues to generate comments as to how disrespectful the video is. Lorie Lee, Sac and Fox, (?@lleetewa) tweeted, “@gwenstefani disappointed n ur portrayal attempt of beautiful strong warrior woman Natives. Invited to Hopi find out who u will nevr be NOW!” While Colby Tootoosis ?(@colby22sis) referred to an article written by UK publication, Mail Online, that calls Stefani a “Native American Squaw” she says, “our women were never squaws.”
Comments on the group’s Facebook page have also been active. One was from Jen Pelletier who stated: “Headdress's and feathers are sacred items...very disrespectful...and the sexualization of native women...1 in 3 native women will be sexually abused...over 600 missing native women in Canada...disgusting...”
Indian Country Today Media Network is currently seeking comment from the group as well as from Stefani for their perspective on the video. Watch it here: