Avril Lavigne's Hello Kitty video pulled amid criticism
Avril Lavigne's brightly coloured music video for Hello Kitty has been removed from YouTube after being broadly criticized as insipid and, in some cases, offensive.
The video, still viewable on Lavigne's website as of Wednesday afternoon and by users reposting it, features the Canuck pop-punk princess prancing about in front of four grimacing Asian dancers and squawking lyrics including: "Let's all slumber party/Like a fat kid on a pack of Smarties."
The Japan-shot video also finds the 29-year-old singing in a bedroom, a candy store and a sushi restaurant.
The song was perhaps meant as tribute to Japan, which remains one of Lavigne's strongest territories as her sales lag elsewhere.
Her self-titled latest album, Avril Lavigne, limped to the worst sales figures of her career in North America but still went platinum in Japan (though it sold far fewer copies than her older records there).
But the press has roundly condemned the video.
Billboard called the clip an "embarrassment in any language" and mused on how the Hello Kitty video wound up "even more abhorrent than the song," USA Today linked to the video's "cringeworthy glory" while referencing the possibility that it was racist and Entertainment Weekly questioned whether the video was "offensive ... or offensively obvious."
Still, the flap over Hello Kitty likely represents the most media attention Lavigne has garnered since announcing her romance with Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger, whom she married in July 2013. Kroeger, in fact, co-wrote and co-produced the track.