Lily Allen Concedes She Was “Guilty Of Appropriating” With “Hard Out Here” Video

The U.K. singer recalls 2013 music video during a new discussion about race in music.

November 03, 2016

Lily Allen upset a lot of people back in 2013 when she released an insensitive video for her single "Hard Out Here." The video set out to be a feminist dissection of music video clichés. Instead it was criticized for its use of women of color as back-up dancers alongside lyrics such as Don't need to shake my ass for you 'cause I've got a brain.


In a new interview for BBC Radio 1, Allen joined host Annie Mac and fellow guests Kano and Christine and The Queens for a round table discussion. One subject the group discussed was current U.K. X Factor contestant Honey G, a white woman who parodies traditional rap tropes and slang. Allen responded to Honey G's current success by saying, "I'm not black but I find it offensive."

On the subject of appropriation, Allen addressed the "Hard Out Here" criticism directly. "I was guilty of appropriating when I did a video called "Hard Out Here,"” she says. “The intention behind it [was], I definitely wanted to make a feminist statement. But I was guilty of assuming that there was a one-size-fits-all where feminism is concerned.”

Back in 2013 Allen denied that the "Hard Out Here" dancers were selected for their race, insisting that they were simply chosen for their skills. Watch the interview above, via The Guardian.

Lily Allen Concedes She Was “Guilty Of Appropriating” With “Hard Out Here” Video