Japanese Band Withdraws Music Video Featuring Ape-Like Natives
Japanese Band Withdraws Music Video Featuring Ape-Like Natives

A Japanese rock band, Mrs Green Apple, has decided to pull down the music video of their latest song "Columbus" following criticism over scenes portraying Christopher Columbus alongside ape-like men.

The video depicts three historical figures teaching these ape-like beings various activities, such as riding horses and playing musical instruments. However, the release on Wednesday prompted immediate backlash and was removed just a day later.

In their apology on Thursday, the band acknowledged that the video "contains expressions that lack understanding of historical and cultural backgrounds."

The video shows the band's three members dressed as Columbus, Napoleon, and Beethoven, discovering an island inhabited by individuals resembling apes. Social media users quickly criticized the video, with some calling it racist and others accusing it of endorsing slavery.

One comment on social media read, "Columbus is credited with creating slavery, and [there are] controversial scenes such as educating apes to look like natives. Didn't anyone notice that?"

Another commenter added, "The music video shows the men dressed as colonisers and the natives are portrayed as literal monkeys... that's actually insane."

Critics also took issue with the portrayal of Columbus himself, highlighting his historical role in the mistreatment and enslavement of natives.

"I think the people defending this video don't know anything about history in North America. Columbus is hated by many Americans, to the point where Columbus Day has disappeared [in many places]," another comment stated.

Mrs Green Apple issued two apology statements, explaining that their intention was to depict "life forms of different ages having a home party." They clarified, "We were concerned from the beginning that [the apes] might be seen as discriminatory expression, but we had no intention of likening apes to humans."

The band emphasized, "We never intended to make the content discriminatory or to make it something that affirms tragic history."

Initially part of Coke Studio, Coca-Cola's music initiative featuring celebrities, the video's removal comes amid widespread backlash.

Mrs Green Apple, known for their music in the popular Japanese anime series One Piece, boasts a significant following on YouTube, with around 3.4 million subscribers.

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