JoJo Siwa has become the latest celebrity to face blowback for allegedly using blackface. And while she didn’t wear it herself, it featured prominently in one of her music videos.
It’s hard to come to terms with that, especially since we’ve “known” her from when she was a child.
But though she denies the accusations, we need to hold her accountable. And she has to admit that yes, as a matter of fact, she is responsible for the content of her videos.
JoJo Siwa released a video for her new song, “NONSTOP.”
As we can see in the video, which looks to be set in a circus, there’s a dancer that’s wearing a monkey costume and brown makeup on their face.
Brown makeup is traditionally associated with “blackface,” which is an offensive and racist get-up with its roots in minstrelsy. Additionally, comparing Black people to monkeys is a long-running racist trope.
This history makes the depiction in JoJo’s video deeply problematic, even if that was not her intention.
JoJo Siwa is not only old enough to know better than this, she knows better than to include this sort of thing in a music video. And that’s even more true of the adults around her.
According to JoJo Siwa, she’s been receiving “really disgusting messages” since she posted her “NONSTOP” video.
I would like to address the music video that we shot for ‘NONSTOP’ in February. We’re talking about kids dressing up as circus animals! No one in my video is wearing blackface. It’s awful that anyone’s mind would even go there. Kids dressing in animal costumes, having their faces painted to look like animals, acting the part.
Siwa closed out her comments with a typical “love and light” comment that seemed more dismissive than positive, and more of a way of getting her critics off her back than in being sincere.
Even though we tend to think of JoJo Siwa as a young child from “Dance Moms,” she’s now 17 years old and a long way removed from the show. It’s time to hold her accountable.
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