JoJo Siwa Is Old Enough to Know Better – And She Needs to Take Responsibility

JoJo Siwa denied that the problematic depictions in her music video count as "blackface." But she is old enough to know better.
Posted in: Op-edShowbiz
Published:
June 29, 2020 12:48 PM UTC
  • JoJo Siwa’s new music video allegedly features a dancer donning blackface.
  • She denied it was “blackface” since the girl was dressed up as a monkey – not a person.
  • But it’s still problematic— and JoJo she needs to own up to it.

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 and the Controversial Video

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.

Yikes. 

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.

‘Really Disgusting Messages’ Don’t Excuse You from Taking Responsibility

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.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of CCN.com.

Josiah Wilmoth edited this article for CCN.com. If you see a breach of our Code of Ethics or Rights and Duties of the Editor or find a factual, spelling, or grammar error, please contact us.

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Bernadette Giacomazzo @gforce_bg

Bernadette Giacomazzo is an editor, writer, and photographer whose work has appeared in Teen Vogue, People, Us Weekly, The Source, XXL, HipHopDX, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, BET.com, and more. She is also the author of The Uprising series and is the CEO of the acclaimed G-Force Marketing & Publicity firm, which has been featured in The Hollywood Reporter and has scored film, television, radio, and print placements for celebrity clientele worldwide. Reach her via email: bgbusiness@bernadettegiacomazzo.com. Visit her website here, or her LinkedIn profile here.