updated 04/23/2014 AT 5:00 PM ET
•originally published 04/23/2014 AT 1:00 PM ET
There comes a time when a pop star needs to throw off the shackles of her old identity and embrace a new culture – specifically, someone else’s culture. On Tuesday, Avril Lavigne reached that moment.
That changed with the arrival of “Hello Kitty,” the fourth single from Lavigne’s 2013 self-titled album, which is quickly reminding us that there’s no news like bad news to a pop provocateur.
A ham-fisted attempt at incorporating Japanese influences into her usual teen-pop sneer, “Hello Kitty” is proof that in 2014 there’s no better way to cause a viral firestorm than with a little bit of cultural appropriation. There’s probably no way to do this kind of cultural salute without offending someone, but like her predecessors, Lavigne doesn’t help her cause: Her attempts at homage are mostly limited to hiring a group of impassive Asian backup dancers and making everything pink.
The video has been pulled from Lavigne’s YouTube account, though it remains on her official website. You can watch it in bootleg form above.
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