Music News

Is the new Florence and the Machine video racist?

Website Racialicious.com and others accuse new Florence and The Machine video of being racist.



After the release of her new video “No Light, No Light” gaining such an already massive following on YouTube and the success of her new album Ceremonials entering the UK charts at No. 1 in the UK and the Top 10 in the US that Miss Welch would be quite a happy bunny right now, but It seems as she has a lot to panic about as the website Racialicious has branded the new video “racist” and are throwing a lot of accusations her way.

The video, which was directed Icelandic duo Arni and Kinski see Florence chased by a man covered in black body paint who seems to be practising “voodoo”. The website which describes itself as “a blog about the intersection of race and pop culture” said the video was “glorifying the white female central character as representing goodness, all while vilifying the evil dark skinned heathen Other.”

The site then goes on to say that “Discussions about whether or not Welch is personally responsible for this racist music video have cropped up. When you break it down and imagine the number of people who were behind the storyboarding, choreographing, casting and creative direction around this video, it is slightly astounding that not one person raised concerns about how problematic this video is.”

Another website Jezebel.com also took offence to the use of voodoo in the video and question its portrayal of “Voodoo as an evil, primitive version of witchcraft”, explaining that “it's a religion like any other, with a moral code, gods and goddesses. Many ceremonies deal with protection from evil spirits.”

As expected Flo's fans have flew to her defence, “I don’t think Florence is racist. She is a woman who loves soul, respects black artists, regularly cites them amongst her hugest influences, “ writes Getaway Girl on Tumblr. And on the Popjustice.com message board, Rabbit Hearted Girl says: “I think the main flaw in the whole racism argument is that the 'evil black guy' is actually green.” Also Antonym on Jezebel.com writes: “It seems to be more like lazy music video imagery than a concerted effort to be racist”.

However the the piece on Racialicious reasons that these fans are “vehemently deny it is racist. “Maybe it looks like it could be racist, but it didn’t mean to be!” they say. When it comes to confronting the argument of whether or not the video was “intentionally” racist I’ll point to minh-ha t. pham’s response for Threadbared to Crystal Renn’s yellow face photoshoot, where she explains: “Racism is so deeply entrenched and pervasive in many societies that everyday racism is often unintentional. On the other hand, what is always intentional is anti-racism” “

So far no one from the Florence camp has commented on the allegations.

You can catch the video here:

So what do you think? Is Florence's video really shrouded in racist imagery? Or are the sites claiming this just looking too much into a pop video trying to be different?

Post any comments and feedback below.....

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