JEREMIAH FAJARDO WRITES – Sex often sells, but not when it’s mixed with the stark insensitivity of misogyny and racism.
Los Angeles based band Day Above Ground provoked a torrent of controversy earlier this month following the release of a music video for their song “Asian Girlz.” The video featured Levy Tran, a San Jose model, strip teasing and bathing while the band serenaded her with a melody composed solely of Asian stereotypes and sexually violent lyrics. Released the weekend of July 28, the vulgar attempt at comedy garnered more than 325,000 views by August 1 and was soon taken down.
The social media outrage over the band’s idea of entertainment was unrelenting. From The Huffington Post to blogs such as Angry Asian Man, many have decried the work, even going so far as to call it “the worst thing ever made.” These reactions are not surprising, considering the song contains lines praising “creamy yellow thighs” and “slanted eyes,” among others.
The band has spoken to several news outlets, defending the video’s content, albeit weakly. Lead singer Joe Anselm, in an interview with The Huffington Post, asserted that the song was not racist “because no one in the band is racist.” Further, he described the work as “tongue-in-cheek” and meant to “[worship] the Asian woman,” with the lyrics themselves being “satirical.” Such claims are hard to swallow when the song is so glib and shallow.
Despite the band’s efforts to placate the media firestorm, they’ve already lost a gig at the Sunset Strip House of Blues. Scheduled to perform on August 10, the band was dropped thanks to outcry on the venue’s Facebook page and a Change.org petition.
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