Yikes. Dance Moms alum JoJo Siwa released her latest music video, “Nonstop,” on June 19 — and is now addressing accusations of blackface in the visual for the single. Here are some fast facts about the allegedly racist controversy.
What Is JoJo’s New Music Video?
The 17-year-old recently released the video for her single. The concept was a big-top circus in which the popular YouTuber played the ringleader of a group of strong men, acrobats and animals (played by humans, of course).
Why Did People Think JoJo Used Blackface in Her Video?
The visual featured young actress Lilliana Ketchman, who is white, playing the stereotypical circus monkey with cymbals — but they used brown paint on the girl’s face. The choice sparked outrage from fans and others on the internet in the week since it premiered.
Did JoJo Apologize?
The Nebraska native took to Instagram on June 27 to address the blackface allegations and “set the record straight.”
“I would like to address the music video that we shot for ‘NONSTOP’ in February,” JoJo wrote. “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. There were zebras, tigers, dogs, clowns, mermaids, everything.”
She also addressed folks who had called her out for the costume on social media. “I blocked certain people online and stopped following others because I was tired of seeing the personal hate on me,” she continued. “Some people will do anything for attention and that includes being mean. People were sending me really horrible and disgusting messages about my appearance, my sexuality, my content and overall just being hateful.”
Ultimately, she restated her support for Black Lives Matter and said she was “on the right side of history.”
“Stop trying to make this about something it isn’t,” she concluded. “I love my real fans and am so grateful for their love and support. Instead of trying to drag everyone down, let’s be positive and come back like a boomerang.”
JoJo seemingly doesn’t consider the statement an apology, though. After posting, she took to Twitter and told a fan, “I didn’t do anything that needs an apology … this is me clearing things up.”
For more information, visit blacklivesmatter.com