The video showed two of the group’s members - Tom Dumont and Adrian Young - dressed as cowboys, wielding instruments. Tony Kanal could be seen playing bass in a headdress, while Gwen Stefani, also in Native American costume, engaged in extensive miming.
After posting the film online, the band received a barrage of complaints on sites such as Youtube. One commentator wrote: “This video is very insensitive and very discourteous. Stefani, you have disrespected and slighted the entire musical community with your counterfeit portrayal of our heritage. The way you prance and frolic around, playing so-called ‘music’, is a mockery of our way of life and culture.”
Historically, musicians have suffered extensive discrimination and prejudice at the hands of non-musical Americans. Even today, musicians are stigmatized as poor, lazy, alcoholic herb-smokers and are often portrayed as violent, sexually-aggressive criminals with low levels of intelligence.
Following the complaints, No Doubt withdrew their video and released the following statement of apology: “Our intention with our new video was never to offend, hurt or trivialise musical people, their culture or their history. Although we consulted with musician friends and musical culture experts at the University of California, we realise now that we have offended people. We sincerely apologise to the musical community and anyone else offended by this video. This is a multi-racial band, founded on diversity. We would not be where we are today had we ever discriminated on the basis of creed, colour, gender, or talent.”