No Doubt's Gwen Stefani in the recently released video for "Looking Hot."

Gwen Stefani and No Doubt Release Latest Music Video, Its Stereotypical Native Theme Garners Criticism

Vincent Schilling

On November 2, the second day of Native American Heritage Month, Gwen Stefani of No Doubt released her latest music video for “Lookin Hot” on YouTube. In the video Stefani wears a series of American Indian styled outfits while appearing in a series of situations such as being handcuffed and tied to a wall, dancing in and around teepees and fighting cowboys.

Soon after the video was released, a backlash on Twitter erupted and dislikes jumped from 60 to over 700 in a few hours. Several YouTube viewers made comments in frustration and support of the video.

One comment on YouTube stated: "This video is very insensitive and very discourteous. Stefani, you have disrespected and slighted the entire Native American people with your counterfeit portrayal of our heritage. The way you pranced and frolic around, dressed in so called Native American attire, is a mockery of our way of life and culture. You have also debased ?all Native American women. The word squaw is very insulting and demeaning to me and all Native American women.”

Other YouTube viewers commented in support of Stefani.

One said: “This video is only for musical purposes only not in any way criticizing your culture. I know you guys have been through a lot I have lived in Montana most of my life I learned a lot about Native Americans and their side but this video wasn't trying to hate or be offensive.”

Twitter was especially active after the video was posted and continues to generate comments as to how disrespectful the video is.  Lorie Lee, Sac and Fox, (?@lleetewa) tweeted, “@gwenstefani disappointed n ur portrayal attempt of beautiful strong warrior woman Natives. Invited to Hopi find out who u will nevr be NOW!” While Colby Tootoosis ?(@colby22sis)  referred to an article written by UK publication, Mail Online, that calls Stefani a “Native American Squaw”  she says, “our women were never squaws.”

Comments on the group’s Facebook page have also been active. One was from Jen Pelletier who stated: “Headdress's and feathers are sacred items...very disrespectful...and the sexualization of native women...1 in 3 native women will be sexually abused...over 600 missing native women in Canada...disgusting...”

Indian Country Today Media Network is currently seeking comment from the group as well as from Stefani for their perspective on the video. Watch it here:

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firstnations's picture
Submitted by firstnations on
While I don't care for Hollywood and their commercialization and even for white people, it is important to realize that such constant protests polarize the rest of the population against Indians and lead them to think we are super-super sensitive when the opposite (stoic/unruffled) sentiment is true for reservation Indians. Mainstream America gets tired of us and gets alienated because we protest such videos, mascots and Halloween. We want mainstream America to love us, admire us and realize who we are. Protesting mascots, Halloween and such videos is a preoccupation of Caucasian-looking Indians, who unfortunately have the loudest voices. They protest such images mainly because it lets them scream racism and thereby feel Indian. If you want to feel Indian, come on down to our reservations and help us. Don't protest mascots, Halloween and such silly videos because you white Indians are making America angry with us. They don't get angry with you because you look white; they get mad at us who look like real Indians.

pflan's picture
Submitted by pflan on
No Doubt took down the link to the video on their Facebook page to scrub the negative comments. They re-posted it again a few minutes ago. Ridiculous.

tmsyr11's picture
Submitted by tmsyr11 on
the No Doubt theme to 'exploiting' native culture is ONLY REPRESENTATIVE and an EXPRESSION of ART in muzik. This is only ART mixed in with Music....(nothing personal).... Considering contempory American Indian groups have 'sold' out to 'progressive' values, i.e you don't have to be have understanding of culture/traditions of native to be called a 'native', the chickens have come home to roost. It happens all the time with conservative Christian values and beliefs, e.g. blasphemy-fied expressions of 'art' and 'freedom of speech' over iconic images of holy people (considering ICTMN reported extensively over the coverage of the Canonization of Kateria Tekawiwtha in the Roman Catholic Church). You take a bite out of the progressive sandwich - you can't take back what YOU ALREADY BITE OFF!

taian54's picture
Submitted by taian54 on
I am tired of white people dressing up incorrectly in Native American costumes and say I didn't mean to be disrespectful. Really!!!!!! They won't do it to any other culture. Hmmmmm Also the song is stupid. Oh brother. My Ancestors were there when Columbus

fara's picture
Submitted by fara on
…1 in 3 native women will be sexually abused…over 600 missing native women in Canada…disgusting…” Uhm... pretty sure those are the statistics for all women. It's rare that a woman makes it to her 40's without being sexually assaulted, abused, molested or mistreated. I don't think this statistic is limited to native American women. In some cultures the odds are nearly 1:1 females are sexually molested before adulthood.

theeleventhindian's picture
Submitted by theeleventhindian on
No Doubt are free spirited types who are against social convention and it shows in their early music. They’re also epically ignorant of the actual history and current social-economic state of First Nation People. But at least they apologized and rectified their error.