‘Curry Police’: problematic music video leads to problematic backlash
It’s not often that an embassy has to apologize to an entire country because of a YouTube video.
Earlier this month, that is exactly what happened when the Japanese Embassy in India posted a review on his Facebook page, stating: “It was unfortunate that this utterly inappropriate video offended many Indian friends.”
The video in question was for a song called “Curry Police” by the group Candy Foxx. Japanese artists have long used stereotypes as punchlines for jokes – remember the impression of black-faced Eddie Murphy or JAL announcement? – and that’s a style of humor that Candy Foxx embraces in her other offerings, though these clips poke fun at Japan as well.
The video for “Curry Police” was taken off the official Candy Foxx YouTube page but, being this internet, nothing ever really goes away and it has been re-uploaded to other channels.
The clip takes place in the landscape of northern India, with shirtless men in turbans and women wearing ghagra choli – a type of traditional Indian dress – participate in a Bollywood style dance sequence. In one scene, a man uses a piece of naan as a ticket to board a boat for Japan; in another, the owner of a curry restaurant is taken hostage by Japanese thugs, only to be led to a magic lamp that frees the Hindu god Ganesha (someone has to let Candy Foxx know that the story of the Aladdin’s lamp was an Arab thing).
It should be noted that the images of the thugs are recycled from a previous video, “Sushi YakuzaWhich includes a battle between Japanese criminal elements and a group of Indian cooks, with the yakuza in the lead. This video is still online and has been viewed over 47 million times.
The people behind Candy Foxx are no strangers to the controversy. Two years ago, the same group was called Represent Earth and staged a publicity stunt that included bogus claims of power harassment, ultimately putting Maximum The Hormone in trouble with their fans.
The “Curry Police” video sparked thousands of complaints from the Indian and Japanese community. Japan-based Indian YouTuber Rom Rom Ji posted a response titled “Indians should unite in JapanIn which he cites earlier examples of Indian stereotypes in Candy Foxx’s work and calls for a boycott.
“We have proven that no one can dare to underestimate Indians and together we can show them their rightful place,” he says in the clip. “Why can’t they present Indians in their ordinary life, wearing normal clothes?”
Rom Rom Ji adds that Candy Foxx excuse uploaded to YouTube shortly after the release of the video “Curry Police” – presented in English text and not delivered in person – is a mere face saver, not a sincere attempt at correcting it.
Much like the incident with Maximum The Hormone, Candy Foxx’s actions have led other Japanese YouTubers to get caught in the crossfire.
Namaste Kohei, who has long celebrated Indian culture and made a cameo appearance in the video “Curry Police”, has been the target of much criticism and apologized in hindi for his cameo. His was more in line with YouTube’s apology practices, although many Indian netizens still did not accept it.
Boasting about his love for India and its culture, and his experience of living in India for eight years, Kohei explains how he was invited to be introduced for just five seconds and only read the lines that were given to him. say.
“I didn’t know how the video would take shape; if I had known I might not have participated, ”he said, adding:“ I heard that the video was shot somewhere in India and that an Indian had been hired as a director of the video. “
This is where things change. Mayo japan, another promoter of Indian culture with 994,000 subscribers on YouTube, also began to receive a torrent of abuse on social media whose tone was misogynistic and sometimes violent. However, it had nothing to do with “Curry Police”.
In a clip she posted to YouTube titled “India has been insulted by Japanese artists?Mayo acknowledges the problematic nature of the Candy Foxx video, refutes rumors that she was somehow involved and expresses his frustration with the anger directed at her. She shares screenshots of some of the messages she received, even as she struggles to understand some of the vulgar and violent words and phrases in Hindi.
In their effort to “safeguard Indian culture,” Indian men harassing Mayo have instead exposed their own misogynistic prejudices. However, just as these trolls do not represent India, Candy Foxx does not represent Japan either.
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