Former celebrity coach of “The Voice,” Gwen Stefani, fired back at criticism that she has been appropriating Japanese culture since the launch of her solo career in 2004.
Stefani cast four Japanese-American backup dancers to appear in the music videos for her debut album “Love. Angel. Music. Baby.,” dubbing them the Harajuku Girls after Tokyo’s Harajuku fashion district, and costuming the women in Japanese street fashion.
Though Stefani has gone on to develop both a perfume line and animated series based on the characters, she denies that her interest in the culture is exploitive.
Her love of all things Japanese started from a young age when her father would travel to Harajuku on business trips and tell her stories about teenagers there “taking all these American things and making them Japanese. “As a result, my whole life, like my whole life. I had a deep fascination,” Stefani said.
Comedian Margaret Cho once compared Stefani wearing a Japanese schoolgirl uniform to putting on “blackface.”
“Even though to me, a Japanese schoolgirl uniform is kind of like blackface, I am just in acceptance over it, because something is better than nothing,” Cho wrote in 2006. “I want to like [the Harajuku Girls], and I want to think they are great, but I am not sure if I can. I mean, racial stereotypes are really cute sometimes, and I don’t want to bum everyone out by pointing out the minstrel show.”
Stefani still bristles at the comparison years later. “If we didn’t buy and sell and trade our cultures in, we wouldn’t have so much beauty, you know?” she said. “We learn from each other, we share from each other, we grow from each other. And all these rules are just dividing us more and more.”
Stefani is, after all, “just a girl in the world,” and touring around the globe as the frontwoman of a male-dominated band was limiting, so when she went solo, she decided to create her ideal scenario.
“I never got to have dancers with No Doubt. I never got to change costumes. I never got to do all of those fun girl things that I always love to do. So I had this idea that I would have a posse of girls — because I never got to hang with girls — and they would be Japanese, Harajuku girls because those are the girls that I love,” Stefani commented.
“Those are my homies. That’s where I would be if I had my dream come true, I could go live there and I could go hang out in Harajuku.”
My first job out of High School was at St Paul and over the next 5 years Iearned so very much. Seeing the hospital torn down tears a small piece of my heart out. The Daughters of Charity and the doctors and staff of St Paul Hospital will always be with me……
People need to absolutely stand up to this “CANCEL CULTURE” This is ridiculous and is doing nothing positive to our nation, specific individuals or anything else for that matter. Does anyone with zero for brains even have a clue where we find ourselves today?
Just stop it people.
You are exactly right. There are other performers who supposedly were canceled because they used something one person didn’t like, or said something one person didn’t like, or didn’t fit into the leftist agenda the right way, whose careers blossomed because conservatives stepped up and liked. what the performer did, not political, but in their profession. I have never liked the comic Cho, she seemed racist from the beginning. I watched her a couple times and really didn’t enjoy it, so I don’t waste my time on her. She should spend some time improving her performance before criticizing someone elses. Since I don’t watch the voice I have never seen or heard Stephanie Owen. But it appears that what she did happened about 2004 or 2005, 16 years ago. Really stupid. How was it accepted in Japan? Was it a popular video? That’s all that matter, not what dumb ass leftists feel. If the left doesn’t like it do as I would do —— don’t buy it and don’t watch it on MTV or some other woke network. There are other people who probably do like the video. Get a life lefties and leave the rest of us alone.
Kim, you’re right.
I saw Cho on some show, so long ago I couldn’t tell you what it was.
To me, she appeared like a slob.
People need a stop this INSANITY. Don’t like whatever, don’t watch, don’t buy or listen. That easy.
Has anyone in the cancel culture world ever hear this? “ Imitation is the greatest form of flattery!”
Do you understand what that means??? It means, if you dress or act like someone else (culture, dress, talk, act like) it’s usually because you like them or it!!! Not because you “hate them/it!!!” Get over yourselves cancel culture weirdos!!!
Love is what this life is all about! Not hate! Quit making more hate! Make more love!!!
Yes, I agree
The only way this culture organization, that determines what we can & can’t believe, is stopping, is when we start digging up their dirt & posting everywhere we can. Who in the H..LL has the right to start cancelling anyone? I see this crap daily! Oh, the culture cancel group stopped me. Why is anyone falling over for someone’s damn opinion & telling you what you can & can’t do. This is your CONSTITUTIONAL right. Fight for it.
SELF CONFESSION is a step of turning you COMMUNIST! Mao did it, Stalin, Fat Man Rocket Boy, They want you to confess to something you did or did NOT do then, jail or killed you. They are canceling people’s right to say anything out of fear of prison or death. Soon Americans will be like North Korea where you can’t FART without BLM, Antifa, Commie Joe Panty Sniffer permission. If people keep accepting this BS, we as a nation are finished. China just stated they will own America in 15 years. Commie Joe has been taking payment for years.
Is anyone else getting a message that says youve already responded to this post? When infact its the first time youve seen the post?
I’m with Gwen- She still looks hot. I don’t know what “appropriating culture” means do you? Besides WHO CARES?
Isn’t Cho Korean??
She’s ugly outside, even more on the inside.
Pay the woke no mind! They only show their complete ignorance!
Margaret Cho is a “Nothing” POS!!!
Almost ALL of her standup she does, is making fun of her own culture, her nationality, her family, and their speech accent!! AND ….shes Korean!!!!
Talk about the hypocrisy of the WOKE idiots!!?? But honestly….. Im not surprised!
This is what the Libetards do when they need attention, or publicity, when their careers and lives are in the toilet!!!
I grew up in Chicago, One of my friends is Japanese and his grandparents had been in the Democrap Roosevelts’ internment camps while his father ended up serving in the Army in Korea. They shared their meals, culture and wisdom and expressed how the American system gave them opportunity. Too bad the millennials of today don’t share time with other cultures and have been brain washed by the left.
Gwen, There is a difference in what you have done and are doing. It is because you like these people and were interested in knowing more about them. You are NOT being mean. I really think a lot of these other people are nuts. I even got into Cher’s crap because of the way she was acting on Facebook. I had her look up Kitty Werthmann, she was young in Austria and she told the whole story of what it was like. Now Facebook took me off and because I didn’t text I had no way to get back on.
Well I’ve cancelled the cancel culture, it doesn’t mean squat to me. Don’t aggrandize the leftist fools that couldn’t carry water for a Constitutional Conservative.
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