Gwen Stefani is being accused of cultural appropriation over her music video “Slow Clap.”
Last Friday, Stefani, 51, dropped her music video for “Slow Clap,” which featured rapper Saweetie. While some were excited to get new music from the celeb, others were disheartened to see that her creativity was allegedly feeding into the category of cultural appropriation.
In the video, Stefani is in several locations, including a gymnasium and locker room. In the background, dancers are seen jumping rope and playing basketball, while Stefani is dressed in large hoop earrings, long golden nails bright gym clothes. The hip-hop-inspired look caught a lot of attention online, with many people calling her out for seemingly taking what she wants from the Black community.
“legendary queen of cultural appropriation is back,” one Twitter user wrote. “Not feeling this. Might have been okay 20 years ago but the content is stale with the exception of Saweetie getting positive exposure. Not touching cultural appropriation, she’s done it throughout her entire career. Not new territory,” said someone else on the platform.
People who are not Black also shared their opinions. “I find complaints about “cultural appropriation” silly. Incorporating part of another culture into your life is a compliment, not an insult. A lot of Black dancers got jobs, and were able to show off their incredible skills, in this Gwen Stefani video,” said a Twitter user by the name Michael J. Stern.
This isn’t the first time Stefani has dipped in the waters of cultural appropriation; many people also called her out over her early 200os music video. “Gwen stefani getting a little too comfortable dancing on that cultural appropriation line for a 2021 comeback,” said a Twitter user. Another wrote, “how come we’ve allowed gwen stefani get away with cultural appropriation for so long?”
Stefani and her former band No Doubt have been called out by several groups, and people have accused them of appropriating Mexican culture, Native American culture, and Asian culture. Back in 2012, UCLA’s American Indian Studies Center released a statement calling No Doubt’s music video “Looking Hot” “highly offensive and destructive images of Native peoples in general and Native women specifically.”